In place of the injured OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa led the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The Raptors never trailed and led by as many as 23 points because of the combined efforts of Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam. 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists were all for Scottie Barnes.
Anunoby missed practice with the Raptors because he hurt his left wrist during Friday’s game against Golden State. Although X-rays were negative, according to coach Nick Nurse, the team wasn’t yet aware of the results of a Saturday MRI. Taking over for Anunoby, Achiuwa.
He was frequently in the proper position at the right time tonight, which is encouraging because it means he’s putting himself out there, according to Nurse. “He made a few plays on his own, and (teammates) found him after he made some pretty fantastic readings.
“Teams will stand up to Pascal when he’s driving, so I was glad he was available.”
Portland had 12 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for Toronto, and the Trail Blazers were outrebounded 45-27. Damian Lillard had 30 points, and Jerami Grant scored 28 points for Portland.
With 8:41 remaining, Lillard’s 3-pointer trimmed the Raptors’ advantage to 94-90, but that was the closest the Blazers would come.
Blazers coach Chauncey Billups claimed, “They came out and imposed their will against us.”
With 7:24 left, the Raptors forced a timeout from the Blazers by scoring on their next three possessions to increase the score to 100-90. During the timeout, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups received a technical foul, and Fred VanVleet increased the advantage to 101-90.
Siakam’s three-pointer made it 108-90, sending Portland supporters outside.
You’re on the road in a challenging atmosphere, and they worked well as a team tonight, Nurse said.
Nurse was also pleased with how well Toronto handled Lillard, who had been scoring more than 38 points per game over his previous ten games entering Saturday.
“It was a tough 30,” Nurse remarked.
After the first quarter, Toronto led the Trail Blazers 37–14 while shooting 69% from the field to 27% for Portland.