The Toronto Raptors embarked on their journey to defend their NBA championship title, securing a tough 130: 122 win against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Fred VanVleet managed to break the personal record for most points scored in a single match (34), Pascal Siakam was forced out of the game due to interceptions when he had 34 points and 18 rebounds. These appearances helped the reigning champion win the 130: 122 match against the Pelicans on Tuesday in the opening game of the new NBA season.
“Pascal and Freddy, they are the new back of the squad, they are the guys who will take us forward,” said teammate Kyle Lowry. “I’m happy for these guys who did it tonight. We will continue to grow this season.”
Lowry scored 22 points, despite some points from free throws, which led Toronto to the lead, while Serbian Ibaka scored 13. All of which made the Raptors win the first game of a new season for the seventh consecutive time and secure their eighth victory in their last nine meetings with the Pelicans.
“It’s a lot of fun to be in the position that we’re in now – we’ve just won the title, but we’re still getting better,” VanVleet said.
The Pelicans lost the ball 19 times, giving Toronto 22 points. 12 of those Pelicans losses came during the second half. But Jrue Holiday tied the score at the end of the fourth quarter, leading the game to an extra quarter, which the Raptors won.
“They made some good strikes in the end that made the difference in the match. Those times were the only difference between the two teams during the match, “said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry.
The Pelicans will now host Dallas this Friday, while the Raptors, who lost star and teammate Kawhi Leonard this summer, will be in Boston on the same day.