Pascal Siakam scored 30 points, Marc Gasol set season highs with 17 points and 15 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-102 on Saturday night to snap a three-game slump on their home court.
Wednesday’s loss to former team-mate Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers was Toronto’s third straight at home after a franchise-record nine consecutive home wins to begin the season.
The Raptors had not lost three straight at home since November 29 to December 5, 2015.
“Our energy was where we want it to be,” said Siakam, who also pulled down 10 rebounds. “We made a lot of mistakes but we covered it up with our energy.”
The 25-year-old from Cameroon was spoken of as an MVP candidate before his form took a recent dip.
Siakam topped 25 points Saturday for the first time in six games, and Toronto lost four of the five games in which he failed to score at least 25.
He acknowledged after the game that, as a team leader, he needed to be more aggressive on a consistent basis.
“I think it’s just coming in with more urgency,” Siakam said post-game, according to TSN. “That’s something I kind of feel like I have to get better at, just every single night having that focus and playing hard.”
“It’s easy to relax and get comfortable, but you can’t be comfortable if you want to be great,” he added. “It’s on me to make sure that I keep my foot on the gas, and if you want to be great you have to be great every single quarter.”
An early hot streak from long-distance helped the Raptors halt the rare home losing streak.
Toronto made nine of 12 attempts from three-point range in the first quarter, including their first seven straight.
“It gave us some good energy to start to shoot the ball so well,” coach Nick Nurse said. The hot shooting didn’t last, however, and Toronto went five for 28 from distance the rest of the way.
“Our overall feel-good was there tonight,” Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said. “We’ve just got to keep shooting, keep getting shots up and playing aggressive.”
Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto extended an NBA record by winning its 34th straight at home against a division foe. The Raptors are unbeaten at home against Atlantic Division opponents since a November 10, 2015, loss to the New York Knicks.
Toronto came in having made 27.2 per cent of its three-point attempts in its previous five games, four of them losses. The Raptors made a season-low seven three-pointers Monday night in a 93-92 win at Chicago.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points, Garrett Temple added 16 and Taurean Prince had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who are 0-4 on the road against opponents with winning records.
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