Toronto Raptors: Valanciunas dominates as team gets 50th win

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Jonas Valanciunas
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Jonas Valanciunas /

The Toronto Raptors earn their 50th win of the season as Jonas Valanciunas was dominant against the Brooklyn Nets.

In another strong offensive performance, the Toronto Raptors’ offence picked up their ninth win in a row with Jonas Valanciunas getting his chance to shine. Their 116-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets was also the team’s 50th win of the season.

The Lithuanian made his presence known offensively and on the glass, finishing with 26 points and 14 rebounds (four offensive and 10 defensive boards). On a night where DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry only combined for 26 points, it was encouraging to see the big man take charge offensively.

Along with Valanciunas, the bench stepped up on offence with Fred VanVleet leading the way with 15 points. C.J. Miles was efficient with 12 points in 19 minutes and Delon Wright continued to work his way back.

While Toronto can be proud to be the first team in the East to reach the big 5-0, Dwane Casey was not too thrilled with how things turned out in the first half, even though things turned around after halftime.

"“It was nothing magical,” the head coach said postgame. “But again, I shouldn’t have to yell and scream to get guys to play hard at the half. Just start at the beginning of the game.”"

D’Angelo Russell looked to be unstoppable hitting seven three-pointers in the early going and putting up 24 points in the first half. Credit the Raptors for making the necessary adjustments as he finished the game with 32 points

"“They trapped me, forced me to pass it,” Russell said to reporters of what changed in the second half. “We just missed shots down the stretch. I think if we make those shots it might be a different game.”"

This was the Raptors chance to show they can continue to put up strong performances on the road, with one more game in Indiana before they return home on Friday.

With games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics coming up, the team will need everyone to contribute. It helps that they are not letting these accomplishments get to their head, as they remain focused on the big picture.

"”There’s a bigger goal,” said DeRozan on what it means to reach 50 wins. ”Success during the regular season is great, but we’re playing for something bigger than all of us. That’s to get in the postseason and win all the rounds to get that gold trophy.”"

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What did you think about the Toronto Raptors’ win over the Nets? Is 50 wins a small accomplishment given how the season has gone? Let us know in the comments below.