A noble effort by these new-look, plucky Raptors in Los Angeles ended up just short of a win.
The Los Angeles Clippers prevailed 126-120 and defence was just a rumour in this one, but the Raptors played well, despite missing two starters, including the team’s leading scorer.
Here’s the report card:
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY A
Arguably the best of the Raptors against the Clippers, Quickley shook off another slow start to drive Toronto’s offence. The older Clippers had trouble dealing with Quickley’s speed. Even when he couldn’t connect on a shot, he still generated points by getting to the free throw line at will.
RJ BARRETT A-
Barrett was on fire again. His shots won’t keep falling as often as they have so far since the blockbuster trade, but even when they don’t, Barrett should still be good. Toronto’s passing game appears to have unlocked something with Barrett, who doesn’t have to force the issue when he gets the ball the way he did in New York because Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson dominated the offence there.
THAD YOUNG A-
Can’t ask for more from the veteran. It isn’t easy to barely play at all and then be asked to log a lot of minutes on consecutive nights. Young stayed ready and showed why he’s a consummate pro. He did a lot of good things even though he was again giving up a lot of size, this time to Ivica Zubac.
JONTAY PORTER B+
Career highs across the board for young Porter. He hit the boards hard, showcased some intriguing passing skills (though he also forced too much at times, as the three turnovers indicate) and looks like an interesting young piece for this club moving forward. If they can get Christian Koloko back on the court too, suddenly there are two viable centre projects on the roster.
SCOTTIE BARNES B
Barnes finally looked a bit gassed after so many games where he had to do so much. Yet he was still quite good at times. Just not his typical performance, for the most part. Had Barnes been at his regular level, the Raptors probably would have won the game. He moved the ball extremely well though.
GARY TRENT JR. B
Trent is on an upswing lately. He’s settled into a bench role, which didn’t always work in the past, and should be catching the eye of teams looking for a boost with his play. Of course, Trent could stick around long-term if some salary is shed.
DENNIS SCHRODER B-
A steady, if unspectacular Schroder game. He attacked the Clippers hard and got to the free throw line, but his outside shot wasn’t falling and it would have been good to see him act as more of a distributor in this one. That’s not as easy when Pascal Siakam is out, but Schroder was a tiny bit shot happy. Still a solid game.
INC: CHRIS BOUCHER, GARRETT TEMPLE, JALEN MCDANIELS
1 Kawhi Leonard
2 Immanuel Quickley
3 Paul George
HM: RJ Barrett