Raptors Defeat Spurs In OT

Toronto Raptors v San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks against the Toronto Raptors in the first half at Frost Bank Center on November 5, 2023 in San Antonio, Texas.Photo: Ronald Cortes / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors erased a 22-point deficit to take down Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs 123-116 in overtime at the Frost Bank Center. The Raptors have won two of their last three to improve to 3-and-4. Keldon Johnson paced San Antonio with 26 points in the losing effort. Wemby totaled 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Spurs saw their two-game win streak come to an end. San Antonio is third in the Southwest at 3-and-3.



(On the performance in the fourth quarter…)

“It's a young group playing against a very experienced group. [Toronto] is like the biggest small team you can imagine with their length and their athleticism. And they went for the three-point shots and made 12 in the second half. They knocked them down, and we didn't. We didn't have as much down the stretch scoring wise. We had a little bit more trouble with their length, their aggressiveness, their ability to get in passing lanes. It slowed us down to the point where our offense wasn't as smooth. They were able to come back for those two reasons. They did a good job.”

(On Malaki Branham…)

“I thought he did a good job. He came in and guarded pretty well. He made a few shots. He filled in nicely.”

(On Jeremy Sochan at the point position…)

“It's been five or six games, and he's not going to be Chris Paul in six games. He's learning a lot, and he likes the challenge. Every game is an education for him at both ends of the floor. He's probably a little bit ahead defensively right now, but offense against that pressure is tough. We knew they'd come back in the second half with that kind of pressure. But over time, hopefully we'll handle that better.” 


(On Malaki Branham in the starting lineup…)

“I thought he did a good job. He was aggressive. He's really good. Those one-dribble pull ups coming off screens. He's a purebred scorer. he did a good job.”

(On playing in a lot of close games recently and how this one got away…)

“Third quarter, second half as a whole, but really that third quarter. They came out and cut the lead down, got it down to single digits. And even then, we still hung in there, we still held the lead. And then in that fourth quarter, they just hit three after three after three. We tried to protect the paint and they did a great job of kicking out. Guys hit shots. Man, got to tip your hat to them.

(On Keldon Johnson making big plays down the stretch…)

He's a winner. He made all the right plays. It's crazy. I don’t know how many he made. He made a bunch of plays in the fourth. You’d think we’d win a game like that. Again, give Toronto credit. They continued to make plays as well. They're an experienced team, at this point. They've been in the playoffs and been in big games, so they were ready for it and it showed.”


(On his takeaways from the loss…)

“[Coach Popovich] often says it's important to play for the whole 48 minutes and even relaxing a couple seconds is too much.” 

(On what the Raptors did to deny him the ball on the inbound late in the game…)

“They just made a lot of effort, sometimes more than us. I still don't have enough visibility on the game. I’ll have to watch it again.”

(On Toronto hitting a lot of three-pointers…)

“We have to make choices sometimes. They have a nice built team and experience, so they took advantage of our mistakes.”

(On how he has adjusted facing new defensive assignments every game) 

“Every night is a challenge. I still have a lot to prove to my teammates and my coach, so I'm just trying to do the dirty job sometimes and give 100%.”


(On how Victor Wembanyama affects the way the team defends…)  

“Man, you see it. Blocking shots. He's long and athletic. He can cover a lot of space.”

(On the mentality going into a back-to-back and playing in a lot of close games…)

“We didn't play as good tonight, but the great thing about the NBA [is] we've got another game tomorrow. So just forgetting about this game, moving on to the next and just doing the things that we can do better on the defensive end, offensive end and just playing a whole perfect game for 48 minutes.”

(On his confidence level this year in the starting lineup compared to last year…)

I know what to expect. I know how to read the defenses and just a lot of stuff. The game has slowed down for me. We're early in the season. Last year, there were a lot of things I sped up. So, me just being at my own pace, knowing my spots on the court, stuff like that.”

(On the play of Keldon Johnson…)

“He's our anchor. He’s been here more years than we have, so he's been in those games before. It's good that he stepped up.”

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