The Toronto Raptors continue to experience a lot of growing pains during their rebuild.
Toronto got routed by Kawhi Leonard and the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. This marked Toronto’s 8th loss in their last 9 games.
The Clippers were simply overpowering in this one. They flexed their muscles on the Raptors taking full control of the game and never looking back. The Clippers continue their impressive run as they are now 21-4 since Dec. 1, which is the best mark in the NBA.
James Harden had a superb performance and showed why he’s a big part of this Clippers turnaround. He had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.
Paul George had 21 points and former Raptor Kawhi Leonard chipped in with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
The Clippers other star Russell Westbrook had a big 20 points from off the bench and another former Raptor Norman Powell shined with 17 points in 26 minutes.
Toronto came into this matchup shorthanded. Jakob Poeltl missed another game and Immanuel Quickley was out as he is listed as day-to-day. Therefore, the Raptors started Thaddeus Young and Bruce Brown.
RJ Barrett had 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Meanwhile, Scottie Barnes had a slow start but then came alive in the fourth and finished with 23 points.
Gradey Dick scored 6 points from off the bench in 21 minutes of action. Although Dick didn’t hit a three, he did a lot of good things on the court including rebuilding and facilitating. He seems to be getting more comfortable.
Jordan Nwora and Kira Lewis Jr. officially made their Raptors debuts in this one.
It’s clear that the Raptors won’t do a whole lot of winning the rest of this season. Darko Rajakovic has already stated that the second half of this season is about player development. Therefore, this will continue to be a work in progress for the Raptors.
Next on tap
The Raptors will now head on the road for a six-game road trip starting on Jan. 28 against the Atlanta Hawks.
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