The Toronto Raptors started their title defence Tuesday evening, taking down the New Orleans Pelicans 130-122 with the assistance of time beyond regulation of their season opener at Scotiabank Area.
Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 34 factors and Kyle Lowry, the five-time All-Star, completed with 22 factors and 5 boards.
Pascal Siakam continued the dominant play that gained him the franchise’s first-ever NBA Most Improved Participant award final season and completed with a double-double (35 factors and 18 rebounds.)
He would foul out with just below a minute left to play.
Lowry and Siakam signed contract extensions within the offseason. Lowry signed a one-year US$31 million deal, whereas Siakam signed a four-year US$130 million extension. Each will kick in for the 2020-2021 season.
OG Anunoby performed his first motion in additional than six months after struggling a ruptured appendix in April. Slotted into the beginning lineup, Anunoby completed with 11 factors and 6 rebounds.
The Pelicans led by as a lot as 11 factors within the second quarter, however by halftime the Raptors, who had 12 first half turnovers, closed the hole to 5 factors, down 61-56.
After a sloppy couple of minutes late within the fourth quarter, Toronto discovered itself down by six with simply over 4 minutes to go after Marc Gasol and Lowry drew technical fouls.
Thankfully for the Raptors, the Pelicans missed each.
The groups traded leads forwards and backwards within the fourth quarter, with neither having the ability to shut out the sport in common time.
In time beyond regulation, Marc Gasol drove to the basket, sunk the bucket and took the foul for 3 factors. VanVleet and Lowry would each sink three-pointers to place the Pelicans away.
Brandon Ingram of the Pelicans completed with 22 factors and 5 boards, whereas JJ Reddick completed with 16 factors, together with 4 threes.
Terrence Davis II was the one new Raptor that Nurse trusted to offer minutes to on opening evening. The rookies completed with 4 factors and 5 rebounds. Although he made some errors, Davis was aggressive in his play, throwing a pleasant open-court move to Ibaka within the first half.
A particular ceremony happened earlier than the sport as gamers and all these concerned with the group acquired their rings and watched the franchise’s first championship banner go up into the rafters.
There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — within the 14-carat yellow gold ring, which is the most important NBA championship ring ever made, the group stated.
Within the first quarter, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse used the primary coach’s problem in NBA historical past after Norm Powell was referred to as for an offensive foul. Every group will get one problem per evening. Sadly, the decision was confirmed and never overturned.
Followers on the area had been handled to their very own model of the group’s rings, whereas additionally strolling away with season opener T-shirts.
The Raptors took down the Golden State Warriors, the reigning champions, in six video games within the NBA Finals, ending a playoff run that noticed Toronto beat the Orlando Magic, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Pelicans had been with out first general choose Zion Williamson, who shall be sidelined from six to eight week attributable to knee surgical procedure.
Going into the season, with the massive gap left behind by NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard who took his abilities to the Los Angeles Clippers within the offseason, oddsmakers weren’t type to the Raptors.
The Las Vegas sports activities books positioned Toronto wherever from a 35-1 choose to a 50-1 shot to win one other title.
Shortly earlier than the sport, Mayor John Tory was available in Jurassic Park for the ceremonially renaming of Bremner Boulevard to Raptors Means.
1000’s of flans flooded into Jurassic Park to look at the sport on the brand new LED display screen outdoors, which is 37 per cent greater than the outdated one.
The championship celebrations coincide with the Raptors 25th anniversary season. The group has deliberate for some themed house video games together with paintings to commemorate the particular 12 months.
The Raptors tackle the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. on Friday at TD Backyard.
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