TORONTO – The good start of Toronto Raptors to the NBA season hit a stroke on Monday night.
The New Orleans Pelicans overthrew Toronto 126-110, giving the Raptors only their second loss of the new campaign – and first at home.
Toronto's defense was out of type, allowing the opponent to be the highest in the allowed points (126) and the field goal (.545). At the other end, his offensive was sprawled, especially from three points where the Raptors made only 13 of 45 attempts.
"Hard night. It did everything better than us," said Pascal Siakam, a bright point for Toronto (12-2) with a team of 22 points in a day where he was named player of the Eastern Conference this week.
He scored the second straight game Siakam led Toronto on the scoreboard.
The Raptors coach Nick Nurse told his players that it was one of those nights.
"I just said" Hey to hear, they were really good. Sometimes you get your punteado touch in this league. Let's get out of here, let's go home and get ready to go back because we have a lot of games coming This week we have to forget them as quickly as possible, learn what we can learn. The ball goes up again here in a couple of days and we have to be prepared to fight a little more, "said the nurse.
Twaun Moore had 30 season points for the Pelicans (7-6) while Jrue Holiday tied the season season with 29 points and 14 assists. Anthony Davis had 25 points and 20 rebounds of the season, the fifth 20-20 of his career.
The first pelicans were combined for 106 points and shot 60 percent (45-75) of the field. New Orleans scored 72 points in the painting, 30 more than the Raptors.
Pelícan coach Alvin Gentry won his team's third win in a row but refused to give him some time.
"We have 69 more (games) to go. I will talk to you after the 69," he said.
Gentry's respect for the Raptors did not move away.
"It's a defeat. This is a great team we've played. They're a really cool team. Nick did an excellent job with these guys … We played very well tonight and we won then."
"It's a good victory for us on the road against a very good team. This is really all that is", he added.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points for Toronto while Serge Ibaka added 19. Ibaka scored in double numbers in 13 consecutive games, the third longest part of his career and the longest since 2014.
Kyle Lowry had 11 assists, but only four points in the 1-of-9 shot, losing the six attempts of three points.
"We just do not play our basketball brand tonight," said Lowry.
The Raptors entered the game in a series of six wins and won the best league record. The only defeat of the Toronto season was the decision of 124-109 in Milwaukee on October 29.
The Raptors have won seven previous home games. Initially, Toronto, Memphis and Milwaukee were the only unbeaten teams left at home.
Toronto won 12 of the last 14 meetings with the pelicans and swept the last season.
Toronto followed by two after the first quarter and five in half. The pelicans pushed the lead to 13 in the third quarter.
The deficit was 11 in the fourth quarter. An early play of 7-2, thanks in part to a couple of pelican turns, reduced the lead to six. But New Orleans responded with an 8-0 tie to extend the score to 14 with 8:39 remaining.
Toronto could not steal the Pelicans back.
The pelicans had no relatives in the goalkeeper Elfrid Payton and forward Nikola Mirotic, both with slipped ankles.
Payton, the son of the Canada Football Hall of Fame, Elfrid Payton Sr., and Mirotic averaged 32.2 combined points, 17.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists in a game this season.
The only missing person of the Raptor was Norman Powell (shoulder).
Toronto reached the third place in the league in qualifying (117.9 per game) while New Orleans was fourth (117.7). And the scoreboard came back quickly, thanks in part to some wonky defense in Toronto.
Taking just 40 percent, the Raptors left a 66-point season in the first half. Ibaka (17) and Leonard (15) accounted for almost half of Toronto's total.
New Orleans beat four of its first five shots and led by six in the first quarter and Toronto lost their first six triples before Siakam sank once at a distance.
Davis showed his repertoire with a box, an ally and 10 points in the first half before collecting a third foul before the break.
O C.J. Thousands of Toronto did not finish the first time, canceled by a right adductor strain.
The New Orleans season has been one of the highest and low until now. The pelicans opened with four consecutive wins and then lost six straight before embarking on a new victory.
The team stood out at home (5-1) but fought on the road (2-5).
Toronto celebrates the Detroit Pistons and former technician Dwane Casey on Wednesday.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press