It was a stellar night that included 22-of-44 shooting from the field, six three-pointers in 15 attempts, 16 rebounds and only two combined turnovers.
The combination of VanVleet and Wright seems to be rounding into the same form that made them so dangerous last season. They had 22 points and eight assists between them but, most important, they were flying around defensively and playing off each other as well as they have at any time this season.
“When it’s clicking, we read each other very well. It’s natural, it’s easy, it’s nothing forced, we just naturally fit each other’s games,” VanVleet said.
If the starters — Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka — remain healthy, there should be little disruption to the second five the rest of the season. Valanciunas will return after thumb surgery in not too long and he’ll supplant Monroe with the group, but that’s not a really a shocking change.
“It’s taken us 45 games to figure it out but it looks like if we’re healthy that’s the group,” Nurse said. “It should be a good group. It really should.”