Small ball suddenly became in fashion, a style of play that lends itself to an up-and-down game, a game where shots are aplenty, where any stop is viewed as crucial.
Such would be the case in the frenetic fourth on Tuesday night, one of those rare evenings where bigs were basically told to sit and watch from the comfort of the bench.
This wasn’t a case of which team would score, but how quickly one can find the bottom of the basket.
Closing out games has been one area the Raptors have found to be elusive, their latest challenge being provided by the visiting Denver Nuggets, who wouldn’t allow a depleted roster to undermine their focus.
Entertainment wise, this was among the season’s best, made even more memorable by how the final period would play out, how fans were able to relish a Raptors win on a night when the outcome was literally decided on the final possession.
At one point, there were four point guards on the floor, a glorified track meet.
At one point, Rudy Gay would be banished to the bench after picking up his fifth foul.
With the margin for error so slim, every possession, especially in the last minute, became precious.
The Raptors were able to control a rebound, an extra possession that allowed the team to draw up an iso for Gay on the right wing, his sweet spot.
Gay would deliver a basket with 4.8 seconds remaining, the Raptors would force a tough shot from Ty Lawson, who was simply sublime, and victory would be achieved.
What a night, what a game, what an ending that would see the Raptors eke out a 109-108 win.
For Gay, it would be his second game-winning shot in Toronto’s past three games, an identical set from the same spot on the court where he’s able to take his man off the dribble and force teams to either play him straight up or send help.
Raptors golden in win over Nuggets
Toronto Sun | Feb 13