MISSISSAUGA, ON — The red-hot Raptors 905 extended their winning streak to nine games with a 97-90 win over the Delaware 87ers Saturday night, improving to 21-7 on the season.
A key a second unit run early in the second quarter helped fuel the 905 offence after the club trailed by as many as seven points in the first 12 minutes of action.
Axel Toupane finished the night with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the win, while Bruno Caboclo chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds. Delon Wright registered just over 30 minutes of action, scoring 15 points and adding two blocks in the contest.
“Absolutely, man,” said head coach Jerry Stackhouse when asked if this was the style of play he envisioned for the club coming into the season. “Being a defensive team, we talked about it from day one. We held this team to 40 per cent, we didn’t shoot the ball too well tonight, but we moved it and got the shots that we wanted. We’re playing together and playing unselfishly.”
The Toronto Raptors offseason acquisition, Jared Sullinger, made his NBA D-League debut Saturday night against the 87ers. The 6’9” Sullinger struggled early on in the game, shooting a woeful 2/12 in the first half and missing on four three-point attempts, but the big man was able to find his groove in the second half, ultimately registering a double-double in 28 minutes of action with 18 points (6/19 shooting) and 15 rebounds.
“I have to get the rust off, honestly,” said Sullinger. “It’s an opportunity to play. To be able to be out there and just work on [my] game, honestly. It’s called the development game for a reason, everybody’s developing…I thought it was a perfect opportunity, especially me not playing yesterday [with the Toronto Raptors], I looked at the opportunity and took it.”
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” added Sullinger on a possible return to the 905 in the near future. “It depends on the situation, if I have the opportunity to come back down, or if we have a home game then, yeah, you might see me. It’s all about the opportunity that prevents itself.”
After trailing 22-16 at the end of one, the 905’s bench unit rallied back and sparked a 13-0 run in the second frame, pushing the lead to 14 points at one point for the home team and countering a tough first quarter where the club shot just 23 per cent from the floor.
Despite both teams struggling to find any semblance of offence throughout the game, the 905 were able to capitalize on the 87ers turnover struggles, scoring 15 points off of 18 Delaware miscues.
The 87ers cut the deficit to two, 82-80, at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter before the home team received some much needed scoring contributions from both Sullinger and Toupane.
“Those guys did a great job for us,” said Stackhouse. “It’s a testament to who we feel like we are…even if we don’t shoot the ball well or get the shots that we want, we’re going to defend at a high level.
Canadian Negus Webster-Chan got the start for coach Stackhouse, finishing the night with five rebounds and two steals in just19 minutes of action. Brady Heslip ended the night with 7 points and 2 rebounds.
For the 87ers, Shawn Long had a team-high 20 points and 18 rebounds in close to 33 minutes of action.
Russ Smith added 17 points and 11 assists in the loss, while teammate Devondrick Walker finished with 20 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
905 Game Notes:
- PPG: 105.9 (14th)
- RPG: 44.3 (11th)
- APG: 21.8 (6th)
- OPPG: 99.6 (2nd)
Written by Jas Grewal
Photo by Faz Malik
Edited by Drew Ebanks