Balanced scoring attack propels Raptors past Trail Blazers
6 Toronto players record 10 or more points, led by Achiuwa's 27-point double-double
Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland on Saturday night.
The Raptors were without Anunoby after he injured his left wrist Friday against Golden State. Coach Nick Nurse said X-rays were negative, but the team was still awaiting results of an MRI taken Saturday. Achiuwa stepped up in Anunoby's absence.
"He was in the right place at the right time a lot tonight and that's a good sign that he's making himself available," Nurse said. "He made really good reads and [teammates] found him and he made a couple of plays on his own.
"I was happy that he was available because teams will step up to Pascal when he's driving."
WATCH | Achiuwa's double-double powers Raptors past Trail Blazers:
Damian Lillard scored 30 points and Jerami Grant 28 for Portland, which had 12 turnovers that led to 22 points for Toronto. The Trail Blazers were also out-rebounded 45-27.
Lillard's 3-pointer cut the Raptors' lead to 94-90 with 8:41 left, but that was the closest the Blazers would get.
'They came out and imposed their will against us'
"They came out and imposed their will against us," Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said.
The Raptors answered with baskets on their next three possessions to make it 100-90 and forcing a timeout by the Blazers with 7:24 left. Blazers coach Chauncey Billups was called for a technical foul during the timeout and VanVleet extended the lead to 101-90.
A 3-pointer by Siakam made it 108-90 to send Portland fans to the exits.
Nurse was also proud of the job Toronto did on Lillard, who was averaging over 38 points in his last 10 games entering Saturday.
"It was a pretty hard working 30," Nurse said.
Toronto jumped out to a 37-14 lead after the first quarter, shooting 69 per cent from the field while the Trail Blazers shot just 27 per cent.
"I think the bad starts have become a trend," Lillard said of the Blazers, who fell to 2-3 on their six-game homestand. "They came out with more energy than we did and more urgency than we did and they jumped out on us.
'It was an uphill battle from that point on."
Grant hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and Portland cut into the deficit to make it 68-56.
Behind Grant's scoring and better defence, the Blazers cut the Raptors' lead to 88-83 heading into the fourth quarter. In addition to Grant's 14 points in the third quarter, Anfernee Simons scored on consecutive possessions to end the quarter, including a buzzer-beating layup.
"Any time you dig yourself a hole in this league, on the one hand, you can always get back into the game because teams play so fast and the game is so long," Lillard said. "On the other hand, you're wearing yourself out trying to get yourself back into the game because you have to be close to perfect."