Intentional or not, Toronto coach Nick Nurse’s ejection within the third quarter kickstarted the Raptors to a profitable rally.
Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam every scored 32 factors and the Raptors put collectively a second-half burst to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 128-113 on Monday evening.
Norman Powell added 29 for the Raptors, who started their rally after the ejection of Nurse, who picked up his second technical of the sport within the third quarter.
“Properly, positively sparked them,” Nurse mentioned of his departure. “I do not want any credit score in any respect. I am glad they began enjoying higher and enjoying as much as their capabilities and glad they discovered a approach to win.”
VanVleet additionally had 9 assists for Toronto, which outscored Memphis 65-43 within the second half, together with 34-16 within the fourth.
WATCH | Raptors rally previous Grizzlies in 2nd half:
The Raptors appeared reeling with 3 minutes left within the third quarter. Nurse had simply been ejected and beginning guard Kyle Lowry had left within the first half with again spasms.
However Nurse’s departure was adopted by a 27-5 run as Toronto turned up the defence and bought sturdy backing from a cheering bench. That rally finally stretched the Raptors’ result in 113-100 with 7:48 left and Memphis by no means actually threatened once more.
“They executed properly on offence and defensively,” mentioned Memphis guard Ja Morant, who had 18 factors and 9 assists. “Bought stops. Bought buckets they usually have been capable of get out to a lead and cling on.”
Jonas Valanciunas led Memphis with 27 factors and a season-high 20 rebounds. Dillon Brooks had 22 factors, however was 8 of 20 from the sector, Morant was solely 5 of 17 from the sector as Memphis shot 43%.
“I feel groups have scouted us somewhat in another way and we have regressed defensively,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins mentioned of the fourth-quarter slide. “It occurs all through the season. We have simply bought to get again to it, maintain working, maintain discovering methods to get higher defensively. And offensively, we’re seeing an entire lot totally different sport plans, particularly late within the video games.”
Memphis used a robust second quarter to take a 70-63 lead into the break. Valanciunas’ domination inside in opposition to his former staff keyed a lot of the Grizzlies’ offence. He already had 18 factors and 14 rebounds at halftime, the primary participant in franchise historical past to have that stat mixture in a half.
“I feel we have been all pissed off and embarrassed with our effort to begin,” VanVleet mentioned.
As Memphis took the result in double digits within the third, issues bought testy between the groups. First, Nurse picked up his second technical, then Grayson Allen bought referred to as for a flagrant on Chris Boucher. All of this allowed Toronto to stay shut earlier than the Raptors pulled away within the fourth.
“It was enjoyable. It was enjoyable postgame within the locker room,” Nurse mentioned. “Guys have been having fun with it, and they need to. I speak about by no means getting too excessive or getting too low, however you have to benefit from the wins. It is too laborious to get them.”