The Raptors needed overtime to eke out a 108-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans as 7.5-point home chalk on Tuesday, avoiding their seventh SU loss in their past eight contests.
It was not a attractive game: Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis was terrible, shooting 4-for-18, including 2-for-16 until he hit two big field goals in overtime; non-Lowry Raptors shot 4-for-17 from three-point range and Toronto gave up 13 offensive rebounds to a team posting the worst offensive rebounding numbers ever heading in, but they'll definitely take it.
He sat out Tuesday's game and will not play in Boston in a key Atlantic Division game Wednesday. But for a team that had lost six of seven games while dropping to third in the conference - and coming precariously close to fourth or fifth - and on another night without the injured DeMar DeRozan, there had to be some sense that a cloud was at least temporarily lifted.
The Raptors would seize a 106-102 lead after a Kyle Lowry three with just less thantwo minutes left to play in the five-minute frame.
"DeMar DeRozan's not going to go [Tuesday night]", Casey informed reporters shortly before the opening tip.
Lowry scored 33 points - none bigger than an absurd long two-pointer with Solomon Hill draped all over him - that gave the Raptors that final edge with just 4.3 seconds remaining and the much-maligned defence came through in the second half.
The Raptors will get more than one shot sometimes, but will be limited to one All-Star Wednesday. Moore added 17 points, Buddy Hield had 15 and Terrence Jones 12 points for the Pelicans.
The loss spoiled a sensational game by point guard Jrue Holiday, who scored 30 points.
He returned to play 36 minutes against the Orlando Magic but experienced swelling after the game, leading Casey to rest the superstar guard. DeRozan sustained the injury on January 22 in a loss to the Phoenix Suns and missed three games before returning for Sunday's game against the Orlando Magic.
DeRozan's place in the starting lineup was filled by Norman Powell. "Now we just need to carry that over into the game [on Wednesday] and focus on locking that in for the start of the first half, not just the second". However, Holiday could not convert a 4-foot jump shot as regulation time ended.
Toronto managed to carve out a 77-75 lead heading into the fourth.