Spurs bid to finish trip in style vs. Raptors

NBA Basketball

The San Antonio Spurs look to complete a five-game trip with a third straight win on Wednesday night when they square off against the struggling Toronto Raptors in Tampa, Fla.

The Spurs answered a five-game losing streak with a 119-17 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday and a 120-97 win versus the Orlando Magic the following day.

San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points in three quarters of play and Dejounte Murray added 17 on Monday. The Spurs shrugged off a ragged start before scoring 18 straight points in the first quarter and never looked back.

Derrick White added 15 points, Rudy Gay and Lonnie Walker IV each finished with 12, and Drew Eubanks had 10 for San Antonio. Keldon Johnson had 11 rebounds, and Eubanks pulled down 10 to record his first career double-double.

“I feel like I have the physical tools and the athletic ability to do that every night,” Eubanks said. “It’s more so just keeping my head in it and focusing and bringing that same energy every night. I feel like 10 and 10 could be the minimum for me on any given night.”

San Antonio finally has found its stride after beginning its five-game trip with two defeats in Denver, the second of which came down to the final shot.

“We kind of turned a corner in that second Denver game,” White said after Monday’s win. “It’s something we have to continue to build on. It’s a long season, so you’re going to have ups and downs. You kind of have to try not to get too high or too low and learn from your mistakes.”

The Raptors continue their five-game “homestand” after dropping a 108-103 decision to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. Toronto has lost two in a row and four of its past five games.

Pascal Siakam paced the Raptors with 30 points in Tuesday’s loss. Malachi Flynn scored 22 points, OG Anunoby 15, and Khem Birch finished with 13 off the bench for Toronto.

The Raptors, who were playing without Kyle Lowry (rest) and Fred VanVleet (hip), trailed for all but the early moments of the game. They made just 10 of 39 of their 3-point attempts.

“It seemed like we hit a roadblock, and it hasn’t really seemed to end,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Maybe it’s ending here soon. I’m trying to look down the road down here. It seems like it hasn’t. That’s been the hard part. You keep thinking, ‘OK, hang in there, we’ll get some guys back and healthy.’ And it just seems like it’s been one thing after another.”

The Raptors will play 10 of their final 17 regular-season games this season in Tampa. Despite the team’s struggles, Toronto remains in the running for spot in a play-in game.

“You can’t look too far down the road,” Lowry said after Sunday’s 102-96 loss in New York. “You’ve got to take it one game at a time and continue to grow.”

–Field Level Media

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