It was perhaps a little more difficult than it should have been but the Toronto Raptors will accept the outcome regardless.
Facing a Memphis Grizzlies team ravaged by injury, the Raptors pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 120-105 victory at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night, Toronto’s fourth consecutive win.
The Raptors (12-6) were sloppy – Toronto committed 20 turnovers – which kept the Grizzlies (11-8) close through three quarters before Toronto was able to seal the win.
“I don’t know if it was effort, or lack of focus,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said afterward, clearly not happy with his team’s performance despite the win.
A DeMarre Carroll open three from the right side with just more than four minutes left provided Toronto with its largest lead of the game to that point, at 107-95, and a depleted Grizzlies roster had nothing left in the tank to mount a comeback.
Point guard Kyle Lowry enjoyed another solid outing, leading Toronto with 28 points off 8-of-13 shooting while dishing off eight assists.Teammate DeMar DeRozan added 24 points.
“Everybody had the butterfingers there for a while,” Casey said. “We had 20 turnovers. I don’t know how DeMar had plus-16 on seven turnovers. I asked him, I don’t know about analytics with that number.”
The Grizzlies went into the game battered and bruised.
At the top of the list is guard Mike Conley, their best player, who suffered a back injury in Monday’s game against Charlotte and could be lost for up to eight weeks.
Former Raptors star Vince Carter hurt his hip in the same game and didn’t play on Wednesday.
Chandler Parsons, the Grizzlies’ big free-agent signing of the off-season, continues to recover from knee surgery; James Ennis III is out nursing a sore calf muscle; and Zach Randolph missed his second game attending to a personal matter.
Still, it did not deter the Grizzlies from jumping to a 57-55 lead by the end of the first half, aided in no small part by 11 Toronto turnovers that negated a strong 57.6 per cent (19-of-33) shooting effort by the Raptors.
The Raptors flexed their muscle in the third to fight their way to an 89-82 lead heading into the final frame.
“The first three quarters you can throw them out and do whatever you want to them,” Casey said. “I thought we got our focus back toward the end.”Report Typo/Error
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