Ontario Independent

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Raptors win their third straight game behind Gary Trent Jr.’s 33 points

Gary Trent Jr.'s 33 points propel the Raptors to their third straight victory

Key Takeaways:

  • The Toronto Raptors won their third straight game at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, defeating the Miami Heat 110-106.
  • Trent came into Tuesday’s game with a four-game streak of scoring at least 30 points in a game, shooting 11-for-20 from the field.
  • After the first 24 minutes, the Heat led 62-50, appearing to dominate a Raptors team that didn’t look as sharp as it had in its previous two games.

On Tuesday, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Miami Heat, 110-106, at Scotiabank Arena for their third straight victory. Gary Trent Jr. scored 33 points.

Fred VanVleet scored 21 points for the Raptors, and Pascal Siakam had 16 and 14 rebounds (26-23).

With 32 points and 11 rebounds, Bam Adebayo doubled in Miami’s (32-20) loss.

On Saturday, Trent scored 33 points in the Raptors’ 130-124 victory over the Wizards in a triple-overtime thriller.

Trent had a four-game streak of scoring at least 30 points in a game going into Tuesday’s game, shooting 11-for-20 from the field. On Tuesday, he became the second Raptor, joining DeMar DeRozan as the only other Raptor to do so.

Trent described tying DeRozan’s record as “a surreal feeling.” “What he’s done for this organization, for this city, the type of player he is, what he stands for, where he came from, his history.” I don’t know how to express that to him, knowing what he does and what he means to this organization.”

Also read: On Friday, 15% of all Toronto public school teachers and students were absent

Toronto coach Nick Nurse has lauded Trent’s recent performance.

“No matter what he’ll do, you expect him to move away with a bucket every time he starts (isolating),” Nurse said.

Kyle Lowry, a former Raptor, would have made his much-anticipated return to Toronto on Tuesday. Unfortunately, Lowry had to miss his ninth consecutive game due to a personal matter. Instead, fans will have to stay until April 3 to see if Lowry will return to Toronto.

With just over nine minutes remaining, Siakam and Precious Achiuwa hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Toronto up three points. Trent’s personal 8-0 run put Toronto up 100-93 with 4:35 left in the game. The Heat got the lead down to two points, but that was it.

The Heat led 62-50 after the first 24 minutes, appearing to overwhelm a Raptors team that didn’t peek as sharp as it had in its previous two games. Miami shot 57.9% from the field in the first half, with Adebayo scoring 19 points in the first two periods alone.

After the break, Toronto used a 10-2 run in which VanVleet and Siakam combined for all of the points to cut Miami’s lead to four with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the period.

A few minutes later, Chris Boucher was hit in the groyne area by Jimmy Butler, who kicked out his leg on an offensive foul. Both teams appeared to be energized by the play, as the Raptors and Heat traded baskets to end the third quarter, with Miami holding an 83-80 lead heading into the fourth.

Gary Trent Jr.'s 33 points propel the Raptors to their third straight victory
Gary Trent Jr.’s 33 points propel the Raptors to their third straight victory. Image from The Star

The Raptors rode their starters hard again, with Trent and Scottie Barnes exceeding the 40-minute mark. However, given the team’s recent success, the fatigue the players may be experiencing appears to be worth it.

“I think they’re doing a fantastic job of not thinking about it,” Nurse said. “They’re lost in the competition, even though everyone is talking about it, asking them about it, and talking about it.”

Toronto is in the midst of a 4-game stretch throughout five nights. On Monday, the Raptors beat the Hawks 106-100 in Atlanta to start this period of their schedule.

On Tuesday, Achiuwa, one of the players Lowry acquired in the off-sign-and-trade season’s deal between Toronto and Miami, and rookie Barnes were named to the NBA’s Rising Stars showcase.

Achiuwa had 12 points in Tuesday’s game, while Barnes had 11.

Raptors center Khem Birch has missed his 10th consecutive game with a nose fracture. Before the game, Nurse stated that Birch was “within a week of playing.”

The Raptors will play a back-to-back starting Thursday against the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, both at home.

Source: CTV News

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