The Toronto Raptors won again Wednesday night, beating the Brooklyn Nets, 105-89, to improve to an Eastern Conference-best 20-6.
“We have a good team,” Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We got guys who can get it done on both ends of the floor. Right now, we’re playing great basketball, but we’re still in that stage where we want to be great. We’re good, but we’re not great, so we got to continue to get better, keep working and keep being humble and hungry.”
Vasquez finished with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and had three rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was one of three Raptors to score double-figures off the bench, the others being Patrick Patterson (13 points) and Louis Williams (10).
Consistent bench production will be key throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.
“Yeah, that’s one thing about us: we got a good bench,” Vasquez said. “We want to keep it like that because our bench, it can be a really key factor for what we want to do in the playoffs and at the end of the regular season. So like I said, we just got to keep it humble and keep working and understand what we’re playing for. We just got to keep working.”
The Raptors actually trailed Brooklyn 30-22 after the first quarter but ended the game on an 83-59 run. They shot 41-of-80 (51.3 percent) from the floor, including 10-of-20 (50 percent) from three-point range.
Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 29 points and 19 rebounds, while Kyle Lowry was his usual elite self, finishing with 20 points, 12 assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Lowry, 28, is averaging career-highs in points (19.6) and assists (7.8) this year and might just be the most underrated player in basketball.
Vasquez, 27, has thoroughly enjoyed playing with Lowry.
“It’s been a privilege,” Vasquez said. “I can’t say it enough how important it is for a young player like me being around Kyle Lowry. His professionalism and the way he approaches the game and the way he’s playing right now, he’s definitely an All-Star. He’s doing it for us. He’s a leader, he’s stepping up in big games and he’s leading us. It’s crazy how people don’t get how much he does for us. I guess people do now. But he’s a great teammate, a great leader and playing behind him – and sometimes playing with him on the court – it’s just important to me. He’s going through his (ninth) year in the league. I’m going through my (fifth). So I still see myself as a young player who’s trying to learn and get where he’s at right now. So everything that he’s got going for himself right now, he totally deserves it. He’s doing it. He’s a great leader, great guy.”
Toronto, which ranks second in the league in scoring offense (107.3 points per game) and 13th in scoring defense (98.7), plays the Pistons (5-21) in Detroit on Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET.