Dwane Casey liked what he saw from his Raptors, and wants to see it more often.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, Kyle Lowry added 19 and Toronto snapped the San Antonio Spurs’ four-game winning streak with a 97-94 victory on Wednesday night.
Casey has seen this before. Solid victories at the Oklahoma City Thunder, at the Washington Wizards and at the Atlanta Hawks have been followed up by less-than-desirable efforts at the Orlando Magic, against the Phoenix Suns and against the Denver Nuggets.
So even a victory over the Spurs did little to bring a smile to Casey’s face.
“We have to build a consistent identity of playing this way if we’re serious about doing anything,” he said. “We can be up and down and get happy on the farm and do all this on one night and come back and lay an egg the next night.
“We have to make sure we tend to our business and keep this same concentration, execution in the next game.”
Toronto won despite taking just 64 shots, the seventh time in franchise history that the team won attempting 64 or fewer and the first time since a 2009 win over the Detroit Pitsons. The Raptors made them count, connecting on a season-high 57.8 per cent.
It was the first time all season that San Antonio, the NBA's best defensive team in terms of points allowed per game, permitted an opponent to shoot 50 per cent from the floor.
“I don’t know how we only shot 64 times but it worked,” Lowry said. “Don’t get used to it though.”
DeRozan shot 10-of-15 as Toronto’s starters combined for 79 points. The Raptors had 27 in the first quarter, their most this season at home.
“I think we just came out and took good shots,” Lowry said.
Toronto led by as much as 13 at one point and the Spurs could get no closer than three down the stretch.
“They played well, give them credit,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s not a certain play, or anything new that happened, they played sharper than we did and I thought they were more aggressive than we were.
“It’s as simple as that, there’s no hidden mystery there.”
Manu Ginobili scored 17 points but forward Kawhi Leonard was clearly still feeling the after-effects of a bout of gastroenteritis that saw him sit out Monday’s 51-point victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Leonard played 27 minutes, scoring nine points and adding seven rebounds.
“I thought towards the end of the game he started to look fairly normal again, but he obviously wasn’t himself,” Popovich said.
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