Daily Raptor Dish - 01.01.11
Raptors fall to Rockets
Year ends on a bitter note for depleted Raptors
If there is such a thing as a bright spot in a loss, it was easily the second half play of DeMar DeRozan.
Shackled in the first half by two early fouls that limited him to just 12 minutes, DeRozan was a driving force for all of the final 24.
He had eight points through two quarters and wound up a career high 37.
As he dressed after the game, a game sheet was dropped at his locker. When it was suggested he might not want to get that one creased, a confident DeRozan replied, “Nah, that won’t be the last time I do that.”
But Friday night was the first and even in a losing cause it was reason for optimism.
“I told him, this is something he should do every night,” veteran Leandro Barbosa said of his post-game conversation with the sophomore DeRozan. “He should probably be happy with the 37, but with his athleticism, and I told him this, he can do this every night. He just has to be ready and focussed and wanting to play. If he does that every night he’s going to be an all-star. It’s on him.”
The key, Barbosa said, is remaining aggressive even when the shots aren’t falling.
“No matter what, he needs to be aggressive whether he makes his shots or not,” Barbosa said. “He just has to be the way he was tonight. That’s supposed to be easy for him. I wish I could have his athleticism, but for me I just love to watch him play, especially that game tonight. That was great for him.”
Rockets beat Raptors 114-105
“We gave up 42 points in the second quarter and got into foul trouble and that killed us,” said Johnson. “We missed too many layups, it was tough. We tried to come back but they killed us.”
Joey Dorsey, starting once again in place of Andrea Bargnani, was just 1-for-8 from the floor and Ed Davis was a mere 1-for-6. All 12 of the combined misses were from within a metre or two of the basket.
“(Davis) and Joey both struggled with finishing, and it’s tough,” said Triano. “One of those two finish their shots . . . it might have been a little different game.”
The lone bright spot for the Raptor was the play of DeMar DeRozan, whose career high scoring night of 37 points included 13 made free throws in 14 attempts.
DeRozan was aggressive all night because he knew the Raptors stood no chance if he wasn’t tough.
DeRozan scores career high but can't lead Raptors over Rockets
DeRozan scored 13 points in the third, the only Raptors player with more than two. Toronto has been ravaged by injuries this season and had only eight healthy players by the end of the game.
“With only eight healthy bodies, we needed more guys to play better,” coach Jay Triano said.
Aaron Brooks and Courtney Lee drove for consecutive lay-ups and Budinger made a 3 from the corner to extend the lead to 97-82.
DeRozan scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, but the Rockets carried their comfortable lead to the end, topping 110 points for the fourth time in their last six home games.
Trailing 34-20 after the first quarter, the Rockets' reserves cut the deficit to one over the first six minutes of the second quarter. Lee sank Houston's first 3, Miller scored inside and Budinger sprinted for a breakaway dunk to finish the 20-7 spurt.
The Rockets' bench outscored Toronto's reserves 65-23.
Rockets enter New Year with .500 record
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and Jose Calderon had 11 assists for the Raptors, who’ve dropped 10 of their last 13 games.
“I wanted to play aggressively,” said DeRozan, who went 13 for 14 from the free-throw line. “They needed me to step up and force them to foul me. I was able to finish and draw the contact.”
Linas Kleiza had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Amir Johnson added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto, which finished with a 53-47 rebounding edge.
Houston’s Jordan Hill scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in place of Chuck Hayes, who’s out two to four weeks after spraining his ankle in practice on Thursday. Backup centre Brad Miller scored 11 points with seven rebounds and six assists.
But the 6-foot-9 Patterson benefitted most by Hayes’ absence, playing more than 25 minutes. He had appeared in only three games before Friday.
“I hate to step on the court because a teammate goes down, said Patterson, the Rockets’ first-round pick last summer. “I saw it as an opportunity and I tried to seize the moment.”
Rockets notes: Dorsey was sad to leave squad
“We won this game because of our bench,” said Kevin Martin, who had 20 points, his eighth consecutive game with at least 20, though he was uncertain to play with a sore right knee. “If it wasn’t for our bench tonight, it would have been a long night for us.”
It had taken the Rockets more than four minutes to make their first field goal, missing their first seven attempts. When Linas Kleiza beat the buzzer with a long 3-pointer, the Raptors held a 34-20 lead and the Rockets had their lowest-scoring first quarter of the season
Former Rockets center Joey Dorsey, starting for Toronto with Andrea Bargnani out, said he "would love to" show the Rockets what they are missing after trading him in February.
"I was unhappy, I was," Dorsey said of being included in the three-team deal that brought Kevin Martin to the Rockets. "I got really close with some of the guys and some of the coaching staff. Me and Daryl (Morey, Rockets GM) had a good relationship. Once I started playing, I thought I found my place here. I got stuck in that trade. I was a little upset."
Dorsey signed with the Raptors last season after he was released by Sacramento. He is averaging 3.9 points and five rebounds this season. He had three points, making one of eight shots with nine rebounds Friday.
"It's going well," Dorsey said. "I'm getting an opportunity to play with some guys out. I think I'm producing very well while I'm getting a chance to play. When I was here and I got the opportunity to play I played well. It's all about getting the opportunity to play. I think here (with the Rockets) there just wasn't enough patience with me."