Spurs unable to keep up with Toronto, losing 143-100

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

San Antonio’s three double-digit scorers were unable to match Toronto’s seven, resulting in a 143-100 Raptor victory. The Spurs (5-3) were without key players and the Raptors (5-3) forced 23 turnovers on Wednesday night.

“They’re strong, they’re long, very athletic,” coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “They denied, they switched. [They are a] very good basketball team, they do it very well, and we are probably not ready for that right now, obviously.”

Spurs leading scorer Keldon Johson was out for the night due to right calf tightness, along with Blake Wesley who suffered a Grade 3 left MCL sprain in the previous game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The Raptors jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The lead was extended to 13-7, led by Toronto forward Scottie Barnes with seven points. Barnes would finish the game with 15 points. The Spurs fired back with a run of their own and trailed 19-18, forcing Toronto to call a timeout. The rest of the quarter was back-and-forth with the Raptors leading by a point, 32-31.

Despite the Spurs taking a 33-32 lead at the beginning of the second quarter, Toronto regained control and did not look back. The Raptors took a 15-point lead with under two minutes to play and held that lead to go into halftime ahead of San Antonio 64-49. The Raptors already had four players in double-digit scoring, led by Gary Trent Jr. with 15. Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Richardson led the Spurs with eight points each at the half.

Toronto dominated the third quarter, outscoring San Antonio 40-21. The Raptors’ largest lead of the quarter was 37. The Spurs trailed going into the fourth 104-70. 

The Raptors scored 39 points in the fourth quarter. San Antonio took advantage and played new and young players on the roster, including Jordan Hall who was officially signed this morning. 

“That is the best thing for the young guys so they can see what they are doing well and what they can do better, that sort of thing. They tried hard, but they were up against something that was a little different for them,” coach Popovich said.

The final score was 143-100 with Bates-Diop leading the team in scoring with 17 points. Trent Jr. led the Raptors with 24 points while Pascal Siakam had a 22 point, 11 assist and 10 rebound triple-double. 

San Antonio will host a fourth straight home game when they play the Los Angeles Clippers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at the AT&T Center.