PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Pascal Siakam scored 36 points, Fred VanVleet had 30 and Toronto Raptors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 114-106 on Wednesday night.
Siakam scored 13 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter to help close out the Trail Blazers and help Toronto bounce back from Monday night’s loss to the L.A. Clippers.
Rodney Hood led the Blazers with 25 points.
Damian Lillard, who entered Wednesday trailing only James Harden in points per game, had his worst outing of the season, being held to just nine points. Lillard had 2-fof-12 shooting from the field and was 2 of 7 from 3-point range. He did dish 10 assists.
Hood stood up to the Raptors’ challenge, returning from a two-game absence with back spasms.
But the Raptors attacked in waves, with Siakam scoring seven straight points to close the quarter and give the Raptors an 87-78 lead heading into the fourth.
The Raptors also got solid bench contributions from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Terence Davis (15 points).
The Blazers went on an 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter, tying the game at 89 with 9:06 left as Lillard watched from the bench.
Nassir Little made his first NBA start against the defending champs. Little drew the job of guarding Siakam.
After Raptors head coach Nick Nurse drew a technical foul for complaining to the officials after Portland’s first run, his team responded with improved play.
Meanwhile on Portland’s side, Hassan Whiteside led the team with 10 first-half points and a number of teammates contributed baskets.
A dunk by Hollis-Jefferson with 5:29 left gave the Raptors a 101-94 lead. Hollis-Jefferson’s hustle gave the Raptors another bucket on a loose ball and Toronto moved out to a 106-94 lead with 4:01 left, their largest lead of the game.
Raptors: The Raptors made a line-up change on Wednesday night as they were without starting small forward OG Anunoby, who is dealing with an injury to his eye.
Anunoby, who walked into the Moda Center Wednesday with an eye-patch over his right eye, will likely be available to play when the Raptors finish their road trip later this weekend.
“They told me it was close for this game, that he might make it, but it’s not going to happen,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “He will be ready to go Saturday in Dallas.”
Nurse gave the starting opportunity to reserve forward Malcolm Miller, who had only appeared in two games heading into Wednesday.
Trail Blazers: After entering the season with high expectations, the Blazers have sputtered out of the gate through the first 11 games of the season.
Tuesday night’s loss to a short-handed Sacramento Kings group was as painful as any of the losses they’ve had to start the season.
“We’re not where we want to be,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “The losses at Golden State and (Sacramento) really took a toll. Those two teams were undermanned and if those two games are wins that changes the outlook of where we are. We’ve played a lot of close games, we’ve played a lot of good teams competitively but I’d say right now we’re a middle of the road team trying to find ourselves.”
Raptors: Saturday at Dallas Mavericks.
Trail Blazers: Saturday at San Antonio Spurs.