Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts during second half NBA basketball action against the New Orleans Pelicans in Toronto on Monday, November 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Raptors no longer perfect at home after 126-110 loss to Pelicans

Toronto slips to 12-2 early in NBA season

TORONTO — The New Orleans Pelicans ended Toronto’s perfect record at home, downing the Raptors 126-110 Monday night.

E’Twaun Moore had a season-high 30 points for the Pelicans (7-6) while Jrue Holiday tied a season-high with 29. Anthony Davis had 25.

Pascal Siakam led Toronto (12-2) with 22 points while Kawhi Leonard had 20 and Serge Ibaka 19. It was Siakam’s third straight 20-point game.

Kyle Lowry had just four points on 1-of-9 shooting. Toronto shot just 40.2 per cent from the floor and hit just 13-of-45 three-pointers.

The Raptors came into the game riding a six-game winning streak and boasting the league’s best record. Toronto’s only other loss of the season was a 124-109 decision in Milwaukee on Oct. 29.

The Raptors had won all seven previous home games. Going into Monday’s play, Toronto, Memphis and Milwaukee were the only remaining unbeaten teams at home.

Toronto had won 12 of the last 14 meetings with the Pelicans and swept the last three season series.

Not this night.

Its offence misfiring and defence out of sorts, Toronto trailed by as many as 13 in the third quarter. New Orleans had 56 points in the paint in the first three quarters, compared to 26 for the Raptors.

The deficit was 11 entering the fourth quarter. An early 7-0 run, thanks in part to a pair of Pelican turnovers, narrowed the lead to six. But New Orleans responded with an 8-0 run.

Toronto’s O.G Anunoby ripped off five points with a three-pointer and a steal to cut the lead to nine. New Orleans kept answering, however.

The Pelicans were without a pair of starters in point guard Elfrid Payton and forward Nikola Mirotic, both with sprained ankles.

Payton, the son of Canadian Football Hall of Fame Elfrid Payton Sr., and Mirotic have averaged a combined 32.2 points, 17.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists a game this season.

The only Raptor missing was Norman Powell (shoulder).

Toronto came into the contest third in the league in scoring (117.9 per game) while New Orleans was fourth (117.7). And the scoreboard turned over quickly, thanks in part to some wonky Toronto defence.

Shooting just 40 per cent, the Raptors trailed by five at the half after giving up a season-high 66 points. Ibaka (17) and Leonard (15) accounted for almost half of Toronto’s total.

Ibaka has now scored in double figures in 13 consecutive games, the third-longest streak of his career and longest since 2014.

New Orleans hit four of its first five shots and led by as many six in the first quarter with Toronto missing its first six three-pointers before Siakam finally sank once from distance.

Moore led the visitors with 12 first-quarter points in a back-and-forth first quarter that finished with the Pelicans up by two.

The Raptors were off-target from three-point range, hitting just three of their first 16 attempts from long-range. And Lowry, missing his first five shots of any variety, didn’t get on the scoreboard until 2:43 remaining in the first half when he sank a pair of free throws.

Davis showed off his repertoire with a block, ally-oop dunk and 10 first-half points before picking up a third foul just before halftime.

Toronto’s C.J. Miles did not finish the first half, sidelined by a right adductor strain.

After Toronto tied the game at 70-70 early in the third, New Orleans pulled off a 9-0 run with the Raptors missing six straight shots.

Earlier in the day, Siakam was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, became the eighth player in franchise history to be so honoured. Siakam had a career high 23 points against the Knicks on Saturday, leading the Raptors in scoring for the first time.

The New Orleans season has been one of highs and lows so far. The Pelicans opened with four straight wins before losing six in a row. They arrived in Toronto riding a two-game win streak.

The team has excelled at home (5-1) but struggled on the road (2-5).

Toronto welcomes the Detroit Pistons and former coach Dwane Casey on Wednesday.

___

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

 

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives around New Orleans Pelicans forward Wesley Johnson (33) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Monday, November 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

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