DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross Combine for 55 Points in Toronto Raptors’ 122-100 Rout of Milwaukee Bucks
TORONTO — The Splash brothers may reside in Oakland, but here in Toronto there’s a veritable wave of threes raining down every time the team takes the court these days.
It starts with Kyle Lowry and then just keeps going to DeMarre Carroll and then Terrence Ross and Patrick Patterson and Cory Joseph — and even the odd one from DeMar DeRozan.
With nine minutes to go in the first half in Monday’s 122-100 beatdown of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Raptors had already made eight from distance. They would go on to finish with 14 in the game
On Friday in Boston, the Raptors made just nine threes, which is a solid number, but it was the first time in nine games the team had not made at least 12 and shot 40% or better from distance.
No team in the history of the NBA has ever had that kind of run.
Not the Splash Brothers in Golden State in 2015-16 that shot 41.6% from distance and did it in seven consecutive games, not the 2009-2010 Phoenix Suns led by Steve Nash, who shot 41.26% from three-point range, and not even the 95-96 Bulls that shot 40.3% from behind the arc.
That run ended in Boston on Friday, but they may have started another one on Monday night.
“Yeah, I mean, we have a whole bunch of great scorers, so when anybody gets going, it’s infectious,” Ross said of all the success from behind the arc. “Everybody kinda gets in a rhythm, once you make a shot, somebody else makes a shot. It’s a good feeling, I think that kinda spreads throughout the team.”
Earlier in the year, the Raptors were struggling mightily from three-point land. Through the first nine games they had eight or more makes in a game only twice. Since that run, they have had not had fewer than eight in 15 games and have been in double digits in three-point makes in 10 of them.
Head coach Dwane Casey sees the success his team is having in general and just wants to keep it about the team and not get bogged down in individual accomplishments.
“Ross sees what Norm (Powell) does and it’s competition,” Casey said. “He feels there’s Norm right there nipping at his heels and Norm’s right there nipping at (Carroll’s) heels and it’s good, healthy competition for our team. As long as we channel it the right way, towards winning more so than personal achievements or personal whatever. Everybody gets some part of the pie when we win.”
The three-point success is certainly helping the Raptors pile up those wins. That’s nine of the past 10 now for the Raptors, who are starting to get some separation between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference (exluding Cleveland).
On Monday night, it was Ross and Lowry leading the way in both takes and makes from downtown as play-by-play man Matt Devlin likes to say. Ross went 4-for-6 from distance while Lowry was 4-for-7 from deep range. Carroll had three more and Patterson, Powell and DeRozan had one each.
The Raptors improved to 40.14% from deep territory with Monday night’s efforts.
The Bucks made their inevitable run in the third quarter and early in the fourth, getting what had been a 26-point lead all the way down to eight before Ross shut the door for good with two of his four threes about three minutes into the fourth quarter.
Ross didn’t do much wrong all night in one of his best individual games of the year, but he did likely make the highlights for the wrong reason when he stripped a member of the Bucks and then with no one between himself and the basket botched the windmill jam.
“I started calling it the curse of Vince Carter,” Ross said of the latest in a (short) series of missed highlight dunks he has attempted. “Nobody’s allowed to do two-foot windmills in the ACC until he retires, I’m guessing,” he said. “I’m just gonna start laying it up.”