A good coach makes his point when he gets the opportunity to and Dwane Casey wasn’t going to miss this chance.

On a night when the ball finally started to move, like it wasn’t covered in adhesive as it appeared two nights earlier in Houston, Casey twice in his post-game scrum highlighted the four assists with which both his high-scoring wingers Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan finished the game.

Gay had a team-high 23 points (8-for-18 shooting) in his return to Memphis, where he played the first six years of his career. DeRozan had another 18 (7-for-13 shooting), but it was those eight combined assists that Casey went to twice as he broke the game down with the media.

It wasn’t an accident.

The Raptors, if they are going to be a good team on a night-in, night-out basis, have to share the basketball. Against a traditionally strong defensive team such as the Grizzlies, that was more important than ever, and Casey’s message got home in a 103-87 win.

The ball was moving right from the very first possession as Gay drove the lane and kicked it out to a wide open DeRozan in the corner who drained a three.

The Raptors built on it from there and it certainly made life easier for both wings and the rest of the starting five.

“We can try to go one-on-one all day but teams are too good in this league,” DeRozan said after the game. “They’re going to load up and if it’s an off night it just makes it that much worse. When we move the ball everybody gets involved and we find a rhythm. We’ve shown (good ball movement) in spurts before tonight. But when we do it consistently for a whole night it normally results in a win.”

The ball movement was particularly evident in the first half when the Raptors had 11 assists, one more than the entire game that included two five-minute overtime periods on Monday in Houston.

And unlike Monday’s game when the defence came up big, this time another focussed effort on that end of the court resulted in a win. Of course if the Raptors had shot the ball at a 46.3% clip Monday in Houston, we would be talking about a three-game winning streak.

“I liked our defensive focus from start to finish,” Casey said. “We executed our schemes, double-teaming Zach (Randolph) and also blitzing (Mike) Conley too was big for us.”

After leading by as many as 11 points and twice giving up 10-point leads in that first half, the Raptors still managed to take an 11-point lead to the locker room at the half.

But a wobble in the third was all the Grizzlies needed as they reeled the Raptors all the way back in tying the game at 70 midway through the quarter.

“We knew they were going to throw a haymaker at us. We wobbled a bit but we bounced back. This time last year we probably would have passed out but we stuck to it and the guys stuck together.”