SAN ANTONIO —
Devin Vassell filled in for Doug McDermott in the starting unit, and drilled a pair of triples to open the scoring for San Antonio.
Derrick White drove and appeared to somehow kiss it off the outside of the rim and in. He ran back in transition for a steal, blocked a shot, and took a charge in the first five minutes as well.
Vassell drove and floated one home, and Jakob Poeltl turned a pair of offensive boards into two baskets and even a made free throw.
All the while, Toronto stayed attached by hitting outside shots. White drilled a three with a hand in his face, played picture-perfect defense with another block, and found Bryn Forbes and Poeltl for a pair of scores in the paint.
Toronto ripped off a 7-0 run to tie it at 22, but Vassell splashed his third three of the first to untie it. Keita Bates-Diop scored on a putback, and Keldon Johnson got his first bucket on a strong drive.
The Spurs had the ball with a chance to go back in front to close the quarter, but Jones committed San Antonio's seventh turnover and the Raptors held a 30-29 advantage.
Rookie Josh Primo took the floor in his native Toronto. One of his first sequences involved grabbing a board, tossing an effortless lob, grabbing the offensive rebound after Jock Landale missed on it, and dropping a dime to KBD who finished.
Vassell tied the game at 35, then Primo drove end to end and went for a poster dunk. He missed, but Poeltl was there to clean it up.
Derrick White picked up his third foul of the game, going to the bench early. Poeltl finished on a roll, then threw a one-handed pass to Vassell on a back cut for a polite dunk.
The Spurs made a few defensive mistakes that allowed Toronto to build their largest lead of the game at six points. San Antonio went to a zone defense, and it did not help them maintain contact with shooters on the perimeter or match up well on the inside. The lead ballooned to 14 before Primo grabbed hold of the rope with a catch-and-shoot corner three.
The offense sputtered and struggled to with no White, no Dejounte Murray and no Lonnie Walker IV, and sloppy turnovers abounded and gave ample opportunities to Toronto scorers.
Keldon Johnson scored at the rim twice, but looked hesitant in his approach. San Antonio trailed by 15 at the break, after giving up a dozen made threes.
Jakob Poeltl notched another putback, then took out some frustration with a thunderous dunk. He got to the free throw line on an aggressive post up, but missed both.
Primo got some early minutes with White in foul trouble and stole the ball almost immediately, later scoring on a transition drive. Poeltl got a seal and dunked again off a sky hook pass from Keldon, and Tre Jones reversed it home to cut the deficit to 13.
When Toronto pushed it to 18, Primo calmly drained a three with a hand in his face.
The rookie drove in transition and got free throws out of it, but missed the first. San Antonio trimmed it to a dozen with free throws from White, then Primo found Landale to make it 10.
It didn't last, as the Raptors found a groove and built a 19-point advantage. Derrick barreled through the defense for an and-1 that made it 97-81.
Rookie Joe Wieskamp came onto the floor to start the quarter, as White sat on the bench with four fouls. Primo soon drove and found him for a wing three.
Toronto scored the first five points of the period, making it a 21-point game in the closing stages as Pop pulled Poeltl as well with another game tomorrow night in Boston. All the other starters came out with a 30-point deficit and over seven minutes left.
The San Antonio Spurs (14-21) will visit the Toronto Raptors (16-17) tonight as the Spurs continue their long 7-game road trip. The Spurs and Raptors will meet for the first time this season.
In the Spurs' previous game, the team lost their third-straight game losing to Detroit, 116-115, in overtime on the road.
Bryn Forbes led the team with a season-high 27 points, and Derrick White finished with 18 points and a career-high 14 assists. Jakob Poeltl had 12 rebounds.
With Dejounte Murray and Doug McDermott both out, Tre Jones and Devin Vassell will fill their spots in the starting lineup.
Here are five things to watch for in tonight's game:
1. Raptors' Fred VanVleet is one of just six players in the NBA averaging 20-plus points, 6-plus assists, and 5-plus rebounds this season.
2. Toronto has outrebounded their opponents in three-straight games.
3. Toronto is 0-5 at home when trailing after the first period.
4. The Spurs are 6-6 versus East teams this season and 2-2 versus East teams on the road.
5. The Spurs are 7-0 on the road when leading after the third period.
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