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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 01.02.11
Raps' consecutive losses now at a dirty dozen
Raptor losing streak hit 12 in 104-93 loss to Pacers
With a major storm brewing in Indy, the Raptors could not chase their own dark clouds away.
Toronto, 13-36, dropped its 12th game in a row — five off the team record in a 104-93 defeat at the hands of the 18-27 Indiana Pacers.
Coming off a heart-breaking overtime loss to Milwaukee and an unexpected thrashing by lowly Minnesota, the Raptors did their best early on to extend their losing skid but then fought hard to consistently close to within five points.
In the end, the terrible start killed them. Again.
In the first quarter, the Raptors fired up jumper after jumper and the results — for the most shooting-challenged squad in the NBA — was a predictable one. And unlike in Minneapolis, when the team actually played some passable defence, there was zero resistance early — though, to their credit, the final numbers looked decent at the end because of excellent second-half defending.
Midway through the second quarter, Indiana was shoting 51.5% while Toronto shot a poor 31.4%. With six made threes to Toronto’s zero, the Pacers pulled away by 20 points.
But then, led by emerging rookie Ed Davis, the team fought its way back the way it has so often this season.
A 13-0 run keyed by strong defence and intensity brought the Raptors within six at the half.
And it was Davis, perhaps the lone bright spot throughout this disastrous stretch, providing the spark.
“Way to keep us in it, rook,” a member of the Raptors’ bench said just prior to halftime and that was accurate.
Davis had 11 points and five rebounds in the second quarter and forced the Pacers to think twice before entering the lane.
He had averaged 7.3 points and 8.2 rebounds on 64% shooting over his previous 10 outings heading in and finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
“Davis) was very, very good again, he changed the game when he got in,” said Raptors head coach Jay Triano.
Smith: Blame the Raptors’ losing streak on the terrible three
Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 11 rebounds to help Indiana beat the Toronto Raptors 104-93 Monday night in Frank Vogel’s debut as Pacers interim coach.
The 37-year-old Vogel replaced Jim O’Brien, who was fired on Sunday. Vogel said he would allow Hibbert to play through his mistakes, and the 7-foot-2 centre rewarded his new coach with his highest-scoring game since Nov. 28.
Darren Collison and Paul George scored 16 points and Tyler Hansbrough added 14 as the Pacers extended Toronto’s losing streak to 12 games. The Raptors gave up 100 or more points for the eighth straight contest.
Amir Johnson led Toronto with 18 points, and Jose Calderon and Ed Davis added 13. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto’s leading scorer this season, finished with 12 points on 3-for-15 shooting.
An off night by Danny Granger, Indiana’s top scorer, didn’t slow the Pacers. Granger scored 11 points, but the Pacers outrebounded the Raptors 56-38 to make up for committing 25 turnovers.
Raptors lose 12th straight game
When things go bad, they go terribly bad. Three key points that have contributed to the 12-game Raptors’ losing streak, which is now tied for the fourth-worst in franchise history:
Remember when DeMar DeRozan was lighting up the league in early January? Or when Andrea Bargnani was pouring in 20 points a night without working up a sweat?
Not so much now.
In their last three games, Bargnani has been a combined 17-for-62 from the floor and DeRozan’s been a miserable 10-for-40, and there is no way Toronto can win with that kind of production from its two top players.
The Raptors probably aren’t enough to win many games if just one of those two has a good game and the other is quiet; they need them both to break out at the same time to snap this ugly slide.
It’s been more recent than over the course of the entire losing streak but Toronto’s offence has been horrible.
Only three times over the 12 games — an overtime loss to Milwaukee, a blowout loss in Miami and the first loss way back on Jan. 12 — have the Raptors scored more than 100 points.
Raptors stuck in Indianapolis
Amir Johnson led Toronto with 18 points, and Jose Calderon and Ed Davis added 13. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto's leading scorer this season, finished with 12 points on 3-for-15 shooting.
An off night by Danny Granger, Indiana's top scorer, didn't slow the Pacers. Granger scored 11 points, but the Pacers outrebounded the Raptors 56-38 to make up for committing 25 turnovers.
Indiana led 48-28 in the second quarter before the Raptors went on a 13-0 run that helped them trim the Pacers' advantage to 51-45 at halftime.
Toronto scored the first six points of the second half to tie the score at 51, but Hibbert made two straight baskets to give Indiana the lead again. Granger scored seven points in a run that pushed the Pacers' lead to 67-59. The Pacers led 75-70 at the end of the third quarter.
Pacers defeat Raptors in Vogel's coaching debut
The Toronto Raptors are staying in Indianapolis after their game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night because a huge winter storm developing in the Midwest caused their flight to be cancelled.
Team spokesman Jim LaBumbard said the team is checking back into its hotel.
The Raptors, whose 104-93 loss was their 12th straight defeat, are scheduled to play the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday in Atlanta.
The storm took aim at a third of the of the U.S. on Monday, threatening to lay a path of heavy snow and ice from the Rockies to New England. A blizzard watch was in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday for southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
New strategies succeed for Pacers -- at least against Raptors
Pacers president Larry Bird had two points of emphasis when he introduced interim coach Frank Vogel: he expected more wins and wanted to see the team's young guys play a key role in getting them.
He got both on Monday. Third-year center Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 11 rebounds to help Indiana beat the Toronto Raptors 104-93 in Vogel's debut.
Jim O'Brien was fired on Sunday, and a day later, Vogel got the game ball. The new coach talked his players out of a different celebration.
"They threatened to dump my head into some of their little ice buckets where they sink their ankles into," Vogel said. "And then they threatened to dump those on me. And I said 'there's two of them, so whoever dumps me is going to get one themselves.' So they did not do that."
The game ball could have gone to Hibbert. The 7-foot-2 center from Georgetown started the season well, but fell out of favor with O'Brien when he began to struggle. Vogel promised to let Hibbert play through his mistakes, and he rewarded his new coach with his highest-scoring game since Nov. 28.
"It was an emphasis tonight of, 'Roy, get in the post, get in the post,'" Hibbert said. "I don't think I made a lot of plays from the foul line area and the thing was, if you have a seven-footer, put them down low and make some plays."
That wasn't all for Indiana's youngsters.
Second-year point guard Darren Collison and rookie Paul George scored 16 points, and second-year forward Tyler Hansbrough added 14.
George scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers (18-27) let the Raptors get back into the game by being careless. Indiana committed 25 turnovers, which likely would have led to a loss against a better team.
The Raptors (13-36) closed to within six by halftime and tied the score at 51-51 early in the third quarter.
Forward Amir Johnson scored 18 points for the Raptors, who are on a 12-game losing streak.
Collison had six turnovers, Hibbert turned it over five times and Granger had four.
"That's really bad," said Granger, who went 3-of-15 from the field.
"A lot of it was because we were put in situations that we haven't been put in before. There's going to be a learning curve, but we'll take those down some."
Rookie Paul George had 11 of his 16 points while playing the entire fourth quarter, when the Pacers got their lead back up to double figures.
"We pulled this one off," Collison said.
"We let the lead get away but got our composure together and won."