Gasol returns after missing 12 games with 15 points

Published On January 16, 2020 | By PirasanthGunasekaram | Sports
Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol (33) grabs a pass against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Mike Muscala (33) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Toronto won 130-121. (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Pirasanth Gunasekaram

It was an ugly win for the Toronto Raptors when they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 15. The score was 130-121.

While the Raptors had a great first half, they had a not so great second half.

Toronto was in control in the first half but they were fighting to keep their lead alive in the second.

“Good win against a quality Western Conference opponent,” RaptorsHQ editor Joshua Kern said. “A little disappointing obviously that they let a 30-point lead get all the way down to three in the fourth quarter but you know they’re still bringing some guys back from injury,”

Going into the game, Toronto was getting most of its guys back from injuries.

Raptors Centre Marc Gasol missed the last 12 games due to a hamstring injury in the previous Dec. 18 game against the Detroit Pistons.

Shooting guard Norman Powell missed 11 games with a left shoulder injury before returning against the San Antonio Spurs on Jan.12.

“It’s not like it’s like they’d be completely decimated, they’ve always had guys they’re still in there,” Sportsnet NBA interim editor Steven Loung said. “So, for example at the beginning of the season when Lowry went down, right there was still Siakam right and now and then most recently with when Siakam and befall close down, Lowry kind of picks up the slack.”

During last night’s game, the Raptors started strong in the first quarter. At end of the quarter, they held a 13-point lead with a score of 38-25.

Toronto was still dominating the game in the second quarter. They were leading as many as 30 points. At one point in the quarter, the score was 73-43.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) has the ball stripped away between Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (left) and guard Patrick McCaw (22) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Toronto won 130-121. (Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)

Usually, with games like this, opposing teams give up, but that wasn’t the case for Oklahoma City.

Towards the end of the quarter, the Thunder went on a 12-0 run, thus ending the first half 73-55.

OKC momentum from the second quarter continued in the second half.

With just over two minutes left in the game, the Thunder made a huge comeback, cutting the lead to three points.

However, that wasn’t good enough and the Raptors eventually held the lead and won the game.

Powell finishes with 23 points and two rebounds while Gasol had 15 points, five rebounds, and six assists.  

“I’ve just tried to come back and assert myself and be aggressive in the flow of the offence and play my game and continue to take what the defence is giving me,” Powell told TSN.

The Raptors will face the Washington Wizards on Jan 17, in Toronto.

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