East Notes: Raptors, Scottie Barnes, Pacers, Heat, Kevin Love


It’s time for a pizza party for the Raptors. That’s what coach Darko Rajakovic promised if they won three games in a row.

Darko Rajakovic
Darko Rajakovic. (Michael Grange/X)

Well, guess what? That’s precisely what the new-look Raptors did when they won Monday’s road game over the Pacers.

And for the record, Rajakovic didn’t actually promise the team pizza. Just that dinner was on him. It’s safe to say this young team is hungry, though. Toronto is 3-0 since the All-Star break.

“I told them that when we won three straight I’d take them to dinner,” he told reporters. “But I told them this team’s so humble, we could have pizza.”

  • Forward Scottie Barnes led the way with a triple-double (21 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists), the fourth of his career. Barnes just keeps getting more productive as the Raptors increase his usage.
  • Rookie wing Gradey Dick also had a career night, scoring 18 points and burying some important 3-pointers late. “This is just the beginning,” Rajakovic said. “He’s going to have good games, he’s going to have bad games, but he needs to continue winning in those situations, continue to learn and get better.”


  • Former Raptors forward Pascal Siakam recorded 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but it wasn’t enough against his former team on Monday. Instead, the Pacers continue to be good, but still fairly inconsistent. You never know what you’re going to get from one night to the next.
  • Guard Bennedict Mathurin kept the Pacers in it by matching his career-high of 34 points, with nine boards. “Defense was our main thing and I’ll go ahead and say it, I was really bad on defense tonight,” Mathurin said. “So I’m looking forward to the next game.”


The Heat didn’t have Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier, Josh Richardson and others, but somehow, they willed their way to a road win over the Kings on Monday.

Star forward/center Bam Adebayo scored 28 points and rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. seemingly couldn’t miss on his way to 26. 

“When you’re missing a guy like that, everybody has to step up,” Jaquez told reporters when asked about Butler. “He’s such a big part of our team and missing him is something that we obviously feel. But no matter, we’ve still got to play a game. Guys have to step up and we want to do it for those guys.”

  • Guard Delon Wright was also big, scoring 13 in his Miami debut. And Kevin Love had 10 of his 19 during a 17-2 run in the third quarter. “He just allowed us to kind of go retro Kevin Love, where we were just running our offense through him,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s so clever, physical, smart. For short stretches he’s every bit as good as he was and you saw that tonight.”

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