TORONTO — Jerami Grant scored a game-high 22 points as the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Toronto Raptors their third straight loss, 99-91, on Monday.
Malcolm Brogdon added 21 off the bench for Portland (1-3). Deandre Ayton contributed 10 points and 23 rebounds.
Sophomore Shaedon Sharpe, from London, Ont., scored 14.
Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam had 20 points apiece to lead Toronto (1-3).
The Raptors entered the contest having shot 38.8 per cent from three-point range through their first three games of the NBA season.
But that wasn’t the case Monday. Toronto went just 4-for-29 from distance and relied on its 60 points in the paint to keep the contest close for much of the game.
The Raptors opened the first quarter on an 8-2 run, with Siakam scoring six of those points, just 1:48 into the contest.
However, the Blazers countered every Toronto attempt to pull further ahead by hitting five of their 11 shots from three-point range and going into the break only down 25-21. The Raptors struggling to find their own range also helped, at 1-for-7 from three.
Portland took its first lead 1:31 into the second quarter, with Sharpe contributing to what turned into an 8-0 run with a steal and fast break dunk. While Toronto was able to tie the contest multiple times, the Blazers made it a back-and-forth affair.
After Portland took a 43-38 lead on a Henderson jumper, Siakam capped a 12-4 run to end the frame and the Raptors went into halftime up 50-47.
Barnes took control in the third quarter, scoring 12 points in the first half of the frame. However, the Blazers went on an 11-0 run to turn around from a 68-65 deficit. After Gradey Dick scored four of Toronto’s next six, Brogdon capped the frame with a layup to put Portland ahead 80-74.
The Raptors opened the final quarter with a 6-2 run, with Barnes scoring four of them, to trim the deficit to 82-80.
Although the Raptors kept it close, the Blazers pushed ahead later in the frame. Brogdon and Grant combined for a 11-4 run with 20.1 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Siakam entered Monday’s contest averaging just 14.7 points per game, a far cry from his career-best mark of 24.2 last season. The two-time all-NBA teamer and all-star only attempted eight shots to the tune of 11 points in Saturday’s loss to Philadelphia.
“I don’t want him to take shot eight shots in the game,” head coach Darko Rajakovic said pre-game. “There’s gonna be nights he comes in and takes 20 and you guys gonna come to me saying he takes way too many.
“So I think there has to be a happy medium there for everybody. He’s really bought in, he’s really trying to do the right thing. Everything that we’re asking him as a coaching staff and we’re getting really good feedback from him as well.”
The Raptors play the last of their three-game homestand against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
The Trail Blazers end their three-game road trip with a visit to Detroit to take on the Pistons Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.
Abdulhamid Ibrahim, The Canadian Press