Valanciunas monstrous double-double not enough to overcome VanVleet's heroics

2022-01-10 03:46
Credit: AP – Scanpix

Fred VanVleet made two 3-pointers in the final two minutes and finished with 32 points as the Toronto Raptors (20-17) defeated the visiting New Orleans Pelicans (14-26) 105-101 (27-26, 22-22, 30-29, 26-24) Sunday night.

Pascal Siakam added 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who extended their season-best winning streak to six games. OG Anunoby contributed 12 points.

Brandon Ingram scored 22 points for the Pelicans. Teammate Jonas Valanciunas, playing in Toronto for the first time since being traded by the Raptors to the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 7, 2019, added 20 points and 17 rebounds. Herbert Jones scored 13 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Devonte Graham each chipped in 11.

Player of the Game
Pascal  Siakam
Pascal Siakam
Points 29
Accuracy 8-18
Rebounds 10
Assists 7

Toronto had an 11-point second-quarter lead shrink to one at halftime, and it took a two-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

The Raptors built a nine-point lead with 7:41 to play on Siakam's 3-pointer, Anunoby's 17-footer, and VanVleet's 3-pointer. New Orleans answered with a 7-0 run capped by two free throws by Valanciunas with 5:01 remaining.

The game was tied with four minutes to play when Valanciunas made a layup. New Orleans led by three points on a 3-pointer by Jones with 2:26 to play.

VanVleet answered with two straight 3-pointers, and Toronto led by three points with 1:32 remaining. Ingram's layup cut the lead to one, but Chris Boucher made a layup with 55.6 seconds left and Khem Bouncher made 1-of-2 free throws with 5.7 seconds left.

Toronto led 27-26 after 12 minutes and opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run. Shortly thereafter, the Pelicans answered with a 14-0 surge. Anunoby finished the first-half scoring with a tip dunk to give Toronto a 49-48 lead.

The Pelicans tied the game at 60 on Garrett Temple's layup with 8:01 to play in the third quarter. Toronto opened a 10-point lead with 2:43 left in the period, but the Pelicans went on an 8-0 run to trim the lead to 79-77 after three quarters.

Toronto was without Gary Trent Jr. (ankle injury) and Yuta Watanabe (COVID-19 protocol).

New Orleans was without Josh Hart (undisclosed).

Raptors: Fred VanVleet 32 (3/10 2PT, 8/17 3PT, 4 AST), Pascal Siakam 29 (5/13 2PT, 3/5 3PT, 10/10 FT, 10 REB, 7 AST), OG Anunoby 12 (2/6 3PT, 5 REB).

Pelicans: Brandon Ingram 22 (5/11 2PT, 9/10 FT, 5 REB, 4 AST), Jonas Valančiūnas 20 (6/9 2PT, 5/6 FT, 17 REB), Herbert Jones 13 (3/7 2PT, 2/4 3PT), Devonte Graham 11 (3/8 3PT, 4 AST), Nickeil Alexander-Walker 11.

Full game highlights:

Jonas Valanciunas highlights:


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