Great news in the 905!
The Raptors 905 (8-2) claimed the top spot in the Eastern Conference with their 101-81 win over the Sioux Sky Force (9-3) on Friday.
Though the reign was short lived due to the other team's scheduling, there is no doubt that the 905's performance so far solidified them as a team to beat in the D-League.
Two years in and the 905 are dominating. That is unheard of for a team that's relatively new on the block!
Back to Friday's shellacking of the Sioux Sky Force, the 905 had a helping hand from guard Axel Toupane and his game leading 22 points off the bench. The Sky Force countered with Keith Benson who extended his double-double streak to four games that night with 19 points and 13 boards. That's still a heck of a performance in a loss.
But it was one of those games where both teams bolted out of the gate to reclaim lead after lead in the first half. The Raps only held onto a 20-18 lead after the first quarter and the story didn't change in the second frame. The Sky Force slightly turned the tables with a 43-41 lead at the half.
E.J. Singler was driving force in keeping Mississauga in the game to start off the first quarter with six points. Toupane took over when he touched the floor with nine points.
The story remained the same until the fateful fourth quarter where Sioux's game plan crumbled.
The visitors got schooled by Brady Heslip's awakened shooting and Toupane's beast mode.
Heslip's game went from shooting 17 percent from the field and 12 percent from 3-point range to perfect shooting from the field, free throw line and 3-point range to lead the quarter with 13 points.
Beast-Mode Toupane was 2-for-4 from the field but put a hurting on the Sky Force with aggressive drives through the paint for seven trips to the free throw line. Toupane made 6-of-7 and racked up 11 points.
Those two performances led the 905 to outscore the Sky Force 30-16 and sealed the 101-81 win.
Defense is not something that's incredibly visible in the D-League but centre Edy Tavares deserves recognition for grabbing 17 rebounds, blocking six shots and scoring 10 points for the 905.
The team was able to rest easy this weekend with some time off, but they will be back to business on Thursday when they host the Oklahoma City Blue (8-4) at Mississauga’s Hershey Centre at 7:30 p.m