DeMar DeRozan comes up short in his return to Toronto.
The Raptors held tight in DeMar DeRozan's return to Toronto, pulling away with a narrow 120-117 win. Regardless of the final outcome, it was DeMar who came out a victor in an emotionally-charged encounter with Kawhi Leonard, the player who supplanting him in a cornerstone role, in the immediate future. Incidentally, it was DeMar's best friend Kyle Lowry who was asked to cover his wiry extremities all night long.
After the game, DeMar DeRozan let his competitive streak get the best of him, as he ruminated over what could have been in the contest. "I should've just known that they were going to be aggressive. I saw Kyle lurking. In moments like that, you try to get aggressive, try to get a steal first," he explained.
DeRozan finished with a respectable 23 points and 8 assists in 34 minutes, Raps' fans were stung by the ill-fated memories of past playoff encounters when DeMar passed up a decisive game-winning shot - only to watch Spurs' teammate Davis Bertans brick the fadeaway attempt with seconds on the clock. Fortunately, the Toronto crowd put aside their jadedness in giving DeMar not one, but two consecutive standing ovations, in total disregard of the "clutch" miss.
In all honesty, DeRozan has every right to feel bitter towards Masai Ujiri and Raptors' management, but the Toronto is so far removed from the business side of things. As for Kyle Lowry, he kind of rues sharing so many of his "on-court" secrets during their bonding experience. "Kyle's fat ass know how to guard me obviously," he jokingly admitted after the game. It's DeMar's way of passing a compliment up-and-over warring factions.