TORONTO - Jonas Valanciunas had been down in the dumps following a string of disappointing performances, but he had a gleam in his eye pre-game Sunday and carried it over to game time.
The 7-foot Lithuanian centre seemed relaxed and confident in the locker room while shooting the breeze with a handful of reporters and when Toronto’s contest kicked off, he went right to work, as if he had something to get off of his chest.
A game after getting thoroughly outplayed at both ends by Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards, the second-year Raptor went right at Andrew Bogut, merely one of the NBA’s premier post defenders for nearly a decade.
There was a turnaround hook shot to get the Raptors on the board, then a driving hook, a fadeaway jumper and a big dunk. Valanciunas scored eight of Toronto’s first 13 points on the way to a 104-98 win over the Golden State Warriors. His early assertiveness was a marked contrast to his recent play.