Los Angeles, CA — Despite Kawhi Leonard being out of the game due to a sore right hip, the Toronto Raptors put together a convincing 123-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Raptors hold the best record in the NBA thus far and with them coming into town Tuesday night against the Clippers, they hoped to continue to add to their win total.
Tobias Harris, who finished with 10 points in 23 minutes of play, would come out with great energy for the Clippers early in the first quarter. Additionally, Toronto and Los Angeles were making the majority of their shots inside the three-point line in the first quarter, but the Raptors were hitting all of their shots from beyond-the-arc. By the conclusion of the opening period, Toronto was leading,36-23.
The second frame would stir up the energy in the arena. After fans let the refs know that they disagreed with a call that went against Los Angeles’ big man Montrezl Harrell,the Clippers were able to swing momentum and played with more energy. Los Angeles shot better from downtown than they did in the first which helped them cut the second quarter lead down to as many as four points.
However, Toronto remained composed and took a 13-point lead going into halftime, 70-57.
The second half belonged to the Raptors as they were led by star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry finished with 21 points, seven assist, five boards and knocked down four three-pointers. His third quarter efforts allowed Toronto to eclipse the 100-pointmark in the third and take a 32-point lead going into the final period, 103-71.
“I even asked him (Kyle Lowry) one time if he was tired and Kyle was like, ‘No way.’ It was good having him playing,” shared Toronto’s head coach Nick Nurse. “He was three for three in the first half… Again our defense was really tremendous today. It really was. It was long possessions for them.”
The Raptors maintained the lead for the rest of the contest, but the Clippers showed heart for the full 48 minutes. Boban Marjanovic, who finished the game with 18 points off the bench for Los Angeles, tried his best to help the team make one final push in the ball game. However, there wasn’t enough time left on the clock and Toronto was not going to allow the Clippers to come back in this contest.
The Raptors got great contributions from other key players in the game. Serge Ibaka led Toronto in scoring with 25 points and nine boards and Fred VanVleet dished out a career-high 14 assists to help Toronto walk away with a 24-point victory,123-99.
Even though this was a night to forget for the Clippers, Patrick Beverley doesn’t want fans thinking that they’re going to let this turn into a habit. He stated he wants everyone to know that they’re a team you have to be prepared for every night.
“Let’s not get it twisted, we’re still one of the top ten teams in the NBA,” stated Los Angeles’ Patrick Beverley after the loss. So,we’re not going to let a couple of losses forget who we are. We have a very good record. We beat a lot of good teams. We lost to some good teams. We happy with where we at.”
The Clippers have a chance to redeem themselves Thursday, Dec.13 against the Spurs. Meanwhile, the Raptors aim for another win Wednesday, Dec. 12 against the Golden State Warriors.