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article imageNBA Scores: Raptors sharp in preseason opening win over Clippers

By Larry Seely     Oct 4, 2015 in Sports
Vancouver - It was just the preseason opener for the Toronto Raptors, but the moves made over the off-season have appeared to strengthen their chances of getting past the first round of the NBA Playoffs this season.
In a game played in Vancouver, last year's surprise team showed why many are picking them to challenge Cleveland for the best record and home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference as the team cruised to an easy 93-70 victory over the LA Clippers.
Guard Kyle Lowry was the star of the game, finishing with 26 points, but it was the team defense — something the front office tried to improve over the summer — that was the big headliner as the team finished with six blocked shots and 12 steals in the contest.
Luis Scola was one of the new acquisitions and he showed his stuff with 13 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench. The veteran forward should provide the team with some valuable experience and some much-needed scoring when the starters take a rest.
Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan added 11 points and six boards and center Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 10 points and a team high 12 rebounds to help lead the way.
The LA Clippers are among the best teams in the NBA and much is expected of 'Lob City' this season. J.J. Redick led the way with 15 points and All Star forward Blake Griffin added 14 in the loss.
While the win was important, it was the team defense of the Toronto Raptors that impressed. They held Los Angeles to 27 of 71 shooting from the floor and had a +15 rebound advantage in the contest. It was a marked improvement from a squad that struggled to stop the opposition last season and won several games by just outscoring their opponents
The new attitude will get a big test on Tuesday when they face the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors and while the game is just a prelude to the regular season, it will give the team and its fans a good idea of what to expect in the upcoming season.
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