SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors overcame a sizeable deficit and an even larger presence in San Antonio Spurs rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama to win for the first time on the road this season.
Scottie Barnes scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and had 11 rebounds and Toronto overcame a 22-point deficit to force overtime and beat San Antonio 123-116 on Sunday.
Dennis Schroder and O.G. Anunoby each had 24 points as the Raptors snapped the Spurs’ two-game winning streak.
“We didn’t run different plays in the second half,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said. “It was just our intentions and how aggressive we were doing that in the second half that gave us a chance.”
Keldon Johnson had 26 points, Zach Collins added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Victor Wembanyama had 20 points for the Spurs.
San Antonio was coming off consecutive thrilling wins in Phoenix.
The Spurs overcame a 20-point deficit in the initial win Oct. 31 and didn’t lead until the final basket with 1.2 seconds remaining. San Antonio held on to beat Phoenix on Thursday after nearly blowing a 27-point lead.
The experience of playing with and against large leads didn’t help Sunday.
“We didn’t have as much down the stretch scoring wise,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “We had a little more trouble with their length, their aggressiveness, and their ability to get in passing lanes. I think it slowed us down to the point where our offense wasn’t as smooth. So, they were able to come back for those two reasons. They did a good job.”
The afternoon start allowed the NBA to air the game live in prime time in 132 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Wembanyama was 7 for 16 from the field and had five blocked shots.
“Pop often says it’s important to play for the whole 48 minutes and even relaxing a couple of seconds is too much,” Wembanyama said.
After delivering a shoulder to clear room under the rim, Anunoby was visibly stunned after Wembanyama closed quickly to block his floater before the ball even left his hand.
“He’s too tall. He’s way too tall,” Anunoby said, laughing as he recalled the play.
Toronto outscored San Antonio 23-10 to open the final quarter after entering the period down 15. Barnes had back-to-back 3-pointers and a dunk to cut it to 96-91 with seven minutes remaining.
“He’s not shying away from those moments,” Rajakovic said. “He’s craving those moments. I’m blessed to have a player like Scottie to put him in those situations. He did it all in the second half.”
Barnes tied it 108 with another 3-pointer. After a pair of free throws by Johnson, Anunoby grabbed a loose ball and tossed in a floater to tie it at 110 with 1.2 seconds remaining.
The Spurs were without starting guard Devin Vassell, who suffered a strained groin in the first half Thursday at Phoenix. Vassell is expected to return Monday at Indiana or Wednesday at New York.
Jakob Poeltl had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his return to San Antonio after being traded back to Toronto on Feb. 9. The Spurs initially acquired Poeltl in a trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors in July 2018.
Raptors: At Dallas on Wednesday night.
Spurs: At Indiana on Monday night.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba
Raul Dominguez, The Associated Press