The Toronto Raptors left it late, but a surge defensive in the final minutes, helped them escape with an 80-79 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Las Vegas Summer League.
No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Scottie Barnes recorded a game-high 23 points, five rebounds and four assists on 10-of-18 from the field as the Raptors erased an 11-point deficit with six minutes remaining in the game to give them a 3-1 record.
"They had a big lead, like 10-12 and we were just fighting to get back into the game and this team we just kept working hard," Barnes said post-game.
"We knew our defence was great the whole entire game and could get us back into the game, all we need to do is just push the floor, push in transition and we knew we could get easy baskets on the fast break."
The Raptors lineup of Barnes, alongside Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton, Precious Achiuwa and Ish Wainright troubled the Horents with their length and athleticism as they put the clamps on in the fourth quarter, holding them to just 31.6 percent (6-of-19) shooting, while forcing six turnovers.
"We just got a bunch of dogs that's on the floor, we didn't want to lose the whole game, we just kept saying, lets keep fighting...let's cut it down and we trusted ourselves, we knew that we could come back on the defensive end and we just put our trust in that."
The second half was Barnes' best stretch in Vegas as he came up with a string of big plays on the defensive end, while scoring 18 of his 23 points in the final 20 minutes.
.@ScottBarnes561: 🖐️🏽@malachiflynn: 👌🏽 pic.twitter.com/n668rvtXIC- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 13, 2021
With the game on the line, he stepped up in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points on 5-of-8 from the field in the final 10 minutes.
His bucket kick-started the 16-4 run to close the game, tying things up at 79-79 with a breakaway dunk, before Dalano Banton's free throw put them in front for good.
Scottie Barnes finishes the breakaway jam to tie it up with 20 seconds to go on NBA TV! #NBASummer pic.twitter.com/pZlNp4zBYl- NBA (@NBA) August 15, 2021
"I'm just being who I am, I'm always going to be who I am on the floor, I'm going to be that high motor, high energy guy and just going to bring it every game," Barnes added.
Meanwhile, Precious Achiuwa is making a case for minutes this season, showcasing his strong rim running ability in Summer League.
MORE DUNKS FOR YOUR HEADTOP 👉🏽👉🏽 pic.twitter.com/JbYhauzJeH- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 15, 2021
The 21-year-old finished with 18 points, six rebounds, one steal and one block on 8-of-14 shooting, with his willingness to work off ball and get out in transition, finishing off plenty of opportunities the Raptors created on the defensive end.
Textbook execution pic.twitter.com/0g3sGlUIGi- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 15, 2021
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