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Lucas Nogueira Swats Away Rockets As Raptors Win Again

Raptors center Lucas Nogueira swatted away four shot attempts and ripped down a game-high 13 rebounds as Toronto overcame a 10 point first quarter deficit caused by 11 early turnovers and then a Rockets push in the dying minutes of the game to come away with the 95-87 win. Houston pulled to within two points with just under two minutes left in the contest, but could not complete the comeback.

Delon Wright missed the game with a sore hamstring and it showed early on as the Raptors were beyond sloppy and it seemed like everyone was turning the ball over without Toronto’s starting point guard to steady the ship. The Rockets climbed into a 24-14 lead off of their 8 first quarter steals, however, the Raptors found their poise and sparkling defense to vault back into the lead during the second quarter.

It was Team Canada’s Philip Scrubb who lead the second quarter scoring for Toronto with 7 of his 10 points on the night as the Raptors went 12 players deep into their roster in order to turn this game around and take a 41-36 lead into the half.

The Raptors powered out to an 18 point lead on a 15-2 run to open the third quarter, starting point guard Gary Talton finally finding his composure and scoring 6 quick points. Talton finished the game with 13 points and 6 rebounds, but only 1 assist to 2 turnovers. Team Canada center Jordan Bachynski scored 5 of his 9 points and grabbed 3 of his 5 boards in the third.

It was at this point Glen Rice took over for Houston and almost led his team all the way back. Rice scored 22 of his 28 points after Toronto was up by 18. Rice finished shooting 7-18 from the field and 11-11 from the charity stripe.

Once again it was Norman Powell who led the Raptors in scoring with 19 points on 7-11 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, a steal and 2 blocked shots. Powell has owned Summer League through the first three games. He’s been spectacular on offense and defense.

Bruno Caboclo’s offense slipped again, this time shooting just 1-8 from three-point range and scoring only 7 points. However, he did get 5 boards, a steal and a block.

Toronto owned the glass in this contest out-rebounding Houston 52-34 and once again their defensive focus was in full effect as the Rockets shot just 33.8 percent from the field. The Raptors Summer League team mirroring what Toronto hopes to be able to do once the real season starts in October.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.




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