RAPTORS 129, BULLS 102 — WHAT THE TEAMS SAID: “I always think of the games I play (Terence Davis II) six minutes and wonder the hell I am doing. That’s the first thing I think when he is playing like that. I think he has a shooting component that’s pretty high level and you see it a little bit on a night like tonight and that is usually the toughest component to get in this league. There are lots of other areas of the game that he can improve on and will improve on as we continue on here.” — NICK NURSE.




On Terence Davis’s play tonight … I always think of the games I play him six minutes and wonder the hell I am doing. That’s the first thing I think when he is playing like that. I think he has a shooting component that’s pretty high level and you see it a little bit on a night like tonight and that is usually the toughest component to get in this league. There are lots of other areas of the game that he can improve on and will improve on as we continue on here.

On the defence getting more active in the second half … Yeah, we changed the coverages and stuff and there was great activity and that kind of works hand in hand a lot. You change the coverage and you have some early success and then all of sudden the blood is in the water a little bit, they are starting to really go after it, because the coverage helped them and they start feeding off of that a little bit. We did a good job, we stopped the ball a lot better in the second half. First half it was drive, drive, drive, drive, kick, drive, kick. Give them credit, I was like: man. They are playing great. They were really driving it hard, finding the right guys, knocking down shots, zipping it around and they had us scrambling big time in the first half. They were playing great and we had to get that under control a little bit.

On using different defensive coverages to get people engaged … I am not sure if that is what I am thinking. I am thinking that sometimes when you are not guarding them very well, sometimes you switch and hopefully the coverage is going to start guarding them better than you were. A lot of times this year we found that we’ve gone to a zone early, late in the first quarter or something and only for four or five possessions, but that seemed to be the part that (got) us back playing the man a little better for whatever reason. I can’t really explain it other than a rhythm change and a focus change or something. We needed to change the coverages because we couldn’t control the ball in the first half tonight. It wasn’t experimenting or anything tonight, I was just trying to get the ball under control.

TERENCE DAVIS (31 points, four rebounds)

Was there a point in the night when you felt it was going to be special? Not necessarily. I was just shooting the ball. The ball was going in, so I kept shooting.

Was this performance inspired by the fact that you didn’t make it in the rookie All-Star game? It was definitely in the back of my mind, for sure. Throughout the course of the season it will be in the back of my mind, but I’d rather be in the playoffs. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to play in the game because that’s a pretty special event, but I would rather play in the playoffs.

What kind of words did Serge Ibaka have for you after? He told me he was proud of me. Like I said, Serge has been a light in my life (as) a rookie, helping me eat right, we go lift after games. We didn’t today because he said we have a few days off, so we’ll get it in. But yeah, he told me he was proud of me. I really took that to heart.

FRED VANVLEET (12 points, eight assists, four rebounds)

On Terence Davis… It’s not surprising. I think for most of us, we kind of saw what kind of player he was going to be early on and he just kept getting better and better throughout the year (and) he puts in the work, so it’s really cool for all of us as teammates to see him have a big night like tonight. We’re all happy for him. I don’t think anybody is thinking about the Rising Stars game too much. I mean, he might be, but for the rest of us, none of us have ever played in it, so what difference does it make. Welcome to the party.



On tonight’s game… I thought the first half was one of our better halves. Ball was moving, I think we had 16 assists, made open shots. I thought the third quarter we had the same plays to make, we didn’t make them and I thought we dropped our heads a little bit in that third when the ball wasn’t going in, and they made their run. That’s what we talked about. We got different guys playing, new guys playing and we got guys out. We got to learn how to play in that third quarter when the ball is not going in, that’s what we have to do. It was good to have Gaff (Daniel Gafford) back, we tried to get him some minutes, get him out there, and Luke (Kornet) and Cris (Cristiano Felicio), so we kind of had a three headed monster at the center position tonight to try get Gaff back in the flow a little bit.

On the offensive balance of the team tonight… Again, I thought the ball was moving. I thought we executed the game plan at both ends; they are a hard team to guard. I thought offensively, like I said we had 16 assists, Zach (LaVine) had seven assists, he could have had 15. I thought he was making the appropriate plays and moving that ball. I thought his floor game was really good. I know we’re going to have moments when we don’t score, moments when we struggle with new lineups and new situations, got to keep playing through those moments. I thought there was a point today where we didn’t do a good job of that.

What did you see that got Terence Davis going? I thought he made three off the dribble step-back 3s, I don’t know a defence for that, really. So you have to give him credit on that. Guys have big nights, (Damian) Lillard had 51 last night, guys have big nights.

Would you rather have him shooting the ball or (Pascal) Siakam and (Kyle) Lowry? I thought we did a great job on Siakam, I thought Thad (Thaddeus Young) battled him. Sometimes you have to live with some of those guys. We don’t like bench all-stars, sometimes that happens.

ZACH LAVINE (18 points, seven assists, seven rebounds)

What did you see from the Raptors in the second half? They did their job to win. We threw it away, the same story we do most of the games we lead at half-time or going into the third quarter. You have to figure out how to stop doing that.

Is there anything specific that happened with the team in the second half? We stopped making shots in the second half. They do a good job. They’re a championship team. They know to take away the first option and their going to take the ball out of my hand or show gaps to try to make me force shots. I just try to play the right way and it didn’t work out today.

How do you navigate this stretch of injuries? You just have to go out there and play. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you. They may look at us like it’s an easy win; try to take advantage of it. You just have to go out there and play.

Is there a reason you’re more frustrated by this loss than others? I’m just upset. It gets frustrating when you lose games. I’ve been going through it the last three years here. It just gets frustrating. It’s like anybody else in our position. We’re human. You have human reactions and feelings. I get frustrated eventually.

DENZEL VALENTINE (three points, two assists)

Do you have any extra anxiety going into this week? No, not really. I feel like everything is going to take care of itself. I can’t really control what happens. I just have to come to work every day and be positive and work hard.

What didn’t work in the second half that did work in the first? I felt like Toronto played with a little bit more energy than we did. We have got to come out and play with a little more energy. They played as a team. They play hard. They were the better team today.

What did you think about Terence Davis’ performance today? I was impressed. He came out. His coach gave him the opportunity to showcase what he can do. He took advantage of it. That’s what the league is about. Opportunity and showcasing what you can do. He had a good performance.

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