HANGING ON FOR THE W
The Raptors moved to 3-0 in Las Vegas after notching an 82-81 victory against the Denver Nuggets. One day after a dominant 97-72 win, Toronto was in a nail biter against Denver. In a back-and-forth final quarter, Alfonzo McKinnie gave the Raptors a three-point lead with 1:47 seconds remaining. The teams would trade turnovers and missed shots until Pascal Siakam was called for a foul against Juan Hernangomez attempting a three-pointer with 14.5 seconds on the clock. After Hernangomez made two of three free throws, the Raptors were ahead by one, learning to a wild close, with Siakam turning the ball over, stealing it back, then being called for a double-dribble with 2.1 seconds remaining. On Denver’s final possession, the Nuggets turned over the ball and Toronto escaped with the win.
Jakob Poeltl has had double-doubles in each of Toronto’s first two games. That streak continued on Monday as he led the Raptors with 17 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Poeltl shot 8-for-13 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the free throw line while adding those 10 rebounds to go with two assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
In addition to Poeltl’s big night, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam continued to show off their skills in Vegas. The sophomore trio combined to score 48 of Toronto’s 82 points. VanVleet scored 17 points to match Poeltl’s team-high. He played 30 minutes, shooting 5-for-6 from the floor, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the free throw line, while adding two rebounds and three assists. Siakam, late-game hiccups aside, stuffed the stat sheet in his 30 minutes, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocked shots.
PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
The Raptors front office spent their weekend taking care of some paperwork. On Sunday, the team announced that it had officially signed forward OG Anunoby to his rookie contract. Toronto selected Anunoby with the 23rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Indiana. Though Anunoby is in Las Vegas with the team, he has not participated in NBA Summer League as he is rehabbing from ACL surgery that ended his college season in January.
The team also announced the signings of guard-forward Malcolm Miller and forward Alfonzo McKinnie. Miller has not been able to participate in NBA Summer League after spraining an ankle prior to the team’s first game. He previously played for Alba Berlin of the German Bundesliga, and for the Maine Red Claws in the G League in 2015-16. McKinnie, who has been suiting up for the team in Vegas, previously played for the Windy City Bulls in the G League. He was named to the 2017 NBA G League All-Star teamster averaging 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds in 50 games with the Windy City Bulls.
McKinnie had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double on Monday as he recorded a handful of highlight-reel worthy plays:
Following the victory, Matt Tierney was joined by Randy Urban to discuss the win. Urban was playing the role of Akil Augustine who was missing in action…until he was not.
THEY SAID IT:
“We’re playing to win this tournament. Winning is your best learning. Finding a way to win the basketball game, that’s the goal of the game. The more you practice that ultimate goal the better you’re going to be. This tournament is also about building confidence. For Fred, Jakob, Pascal, to go out here, have a really good tournament and win a bunch of games, [it] really builds their confidence as we head into our season.”
– Jama Mahlalela
“It’s been pretty good so far. I really can’t complain. I’m just trying to be out there having fun. I’m trying to do everything for my team to win the game and I think rebounding is a big part of that. I’m trying to be more aggressive, especially on the defensive glass and so far think it’s shown in the stats.”
– Jakob Poeltl on recording double-doubles in the first three games of NBA Summer League
“Just learning the system from those guys, watching Jak, watching P and Fred, they’ve been in the system for a year now. I’m just following behind them, trying to pick up stuff, pick up the little stuff and go from there.”
– Alfonzo McKinnie on the opportunity to learn from teammates Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl
Up next: The Raptors will wait to find out the schedule and opponent they will be facing for the tournament, but their 3-0 record means they will not play again until Thursday.