The Raptors started Monday’s game in Portland a little slow, sputtered a bit in the fourth quarter, but managed to come out of it with a 95-91 win over a short-handed Blazers team without starting point guard Damian Lillard to improve to 22-8 on the season and 11-3 on the road.
Thanks to 29 points on 12-for-23 shooting from C.J. McCollum, and Toronto shooting just 33.7 percent from the field and committing 12 turnovers, the Blazers hung around for most of the game. But in the fourth quarter, when the game got close, Kyle Lowry took over again, finishing with 27 points on 8-for-18 shooting, making five threes and adding seven rebounds and four assists. DeMar DeRozan shot just 8-for-22 from the field for 20 points but contributed 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
DeMarre Carroll (2-for-7, six points in 27 minutes) and Cory Joseph (2-for-11, six points in 23 minutes) both struggled but Patrick Patterson picked up the slack off the bench with 15 points on five three-pointers and eight rebounds.
With the win and the LeBron-less (he was resting) Cavs losing earlier in the evening, Toronto is now just a game back of Cleveland for first place in the East, if anyone is counting. Another solid win for a team that just continues to take care of business. Next up: the Warriors at Oracle on Wednesday.
What did everyone think?