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Harden’s triple-double leads Clippers previous Raptors | Globalnews.ca Categorical Instances

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Toronto Raptors rookie Gradey Dick is getting on-the-job coaching from head coach Darko Rajakovic, even in the midst of video games.

Dick fouled future Corridor of Famer James Harden early within the second quarter of Toronto’s lopsided 127-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Rajakovic instantly went over to the 20-year-old ahead for a one-on-one dialog as officers reviewed the play.

“I walked over to him with a smile on, he had a smile too,” mentioned Dick, who knew he’d made a mistake when he put his foot in Harden’s touchdown area. “Communication like that, the place it’s optimistic, that positively helps me as a participant the place I can personally study like that and he is aware of that to.”

After the chat with Rajakovic, veteran forwards Chris Boucher, Thad Younger, and Garrett Temple additionally came to visit to Dick to assessment the intricacies of guarding one of many NBA’s high gamers.

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“It’s nice, it’s like having a number of coaches going at one-time, particularly with Thad and Garrett, once they’ve been in league for therefore lengthy and the information that they’ve,” mentioned Dick. “However in that individual play, it’s extra like I’m speaking to them understanding precisely what they’re gonna say as a result of, yeah, I landed beneath him.”

Harden completed with 22 factors, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, for his seventy fifth profession triple-double, the eighth most in NBA historical past. Rajakovic was forgiving of Dick’s mistake because the rookie is taking part in extra minutes with Toronto’s roster thinned by accidents and trades.

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“That’s a second when a rookie sees a Corridor of Famer and though we confirmed him movie and talked about it, till you undergo it, it’s exhausting to understand,” mentioned Rajakovic. “It was actually understanding the sport plan, understanding the personnel, and that is what James Harden is doing for a decade now.”

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Former Raptor Kawhi Leonard scored 16 factors and added seven rebounds as Los Angeles (29-14) gained its fourth straight. Russell Westbrook scored 20 factors off the bench and Mason Plumlee had a double-double with 12 factors and 12 rebounds.

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Scottie Barnes had 23 factors, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as Toronto (16-29) misplaced its fourth straight recreation.

RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., scored 22 factors and pulled down six rebounds because the Raptors had 5 gamers attain double digits in scoring. It was Barrett’s eighth 20-point efficiency in simply 13 video games since he was traded from the New York Knicks to Toronto on Dec. 30.

“I didn’t play good at present, truthfully” mentioned Barrett, noting he had three turnovers and was minus-27. “However having a chance to only play, simply transfer round cuts, and transition.

“Simply taking part in, you already know? A little bit extra freedom over right here, for certain.”

The Raptors’ beginning lineup was with out centre Jakob Poeltl and guard Immanuel Quickley. Poeltl was out a sprained left ankle and Quickley was off with a right-thigh contusion.

Younger began at centre and Bruce Brown at guard of their place. Younger matched a season-high 12 factors with six rebounds.

Leonard received a loud ovation from the sold-out crowd of 19,800 at Scotiabank Area throughout pre-game introductions, with Raptors followers remembering his crucial position in serving to Toronto win its solely NBA title in 2019.

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“Everyone is aware of what I’ve executed right here, how particular that yr was, they usually’re very grateful for it,” mentioned Leonard. “Each time I come I get a superb response.”

Norman Powell, who spent the primary 5 1/2 seasons of his NBA profession in Toronto and was additionally a part of the 2019 championship workforce, received his personal heat welcome when he got here off the bench practically seven minutes into the sport.

BRATE LOVE — Toronto head coach Darko Rajakovic wore a shirt to his pre-game information convention that learn BRATE throughout the chest. Brate, pronounced BRAH’-teh, is the Serbian phrase for brother. The shirt was designed by the Golden State Warriors to honour Dejan Milojevic, an assistant coach who died instantly on Jan. 17. Rajakovic and Milojevic had been shut associates and Golden State head coach Steve Kerr despatched Rajakovic and the Raptors teaching workers the shirts in order that they may additionally honour their good friend.

UP NEXT — The Raptors start a six-game highway journey on Sunday with a cease in Atlanta towards the Hawks.

Los Angeles’s east-coast swing continues with a cease towards the Boston Celtics (35-10).

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Jan. 26, 2024.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press

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