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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 07.01.10
Raps find Magic formula
The law of averages favoured the Raptors last night.
Timing was also on their side.
In three previous meetings against the Magic this season, Toronto came up short. Not last night, even though the Raptors basically imploded for most of the fourth quarter, but dug deep to hold off the Magic, who haven’t been playing well of late and were on the second game of a back-to-back.
While the Raptors won it 108-103, to climb back to the .500 mark, there were some glaring weaknesses that must be cleaned up, especially on defence.
Incredibly, Orlando wasn’t called for its first foul in the fourth quarter until one minute remained.
Mind you, the Raptors weren’t exactly aggressive, preferring to move the ball on the perimeter, but no fouls in 11 minutes raises eyebrows.
More damning was the 10-0 disparity in Orlando’s favour when it came to fouls, a factor that may have contributed to Toronto’s lethargy.
“It slowed the game down,’’ Chris Bosh said.
Feschuk: Raptors stave off a late collapse
BOSH NOSE BETTER
Raptors star Chris Bosh left the game briefly in the opening quarter when he was on the receiving end of an inadvertent blow to the nose courtesy of Matt Barnes. Barnes drove the lane and used his left hand to fend off Bosh. Barnes was called for an offensive foul.
J.J. Redick completed a rare four-point play last night. Redick drained a three-ball from the right baseline, was fouled by Amir Johnson and converted from the foul line.
FOR THE RECORD
The Raptors didn't have to make a roster move in the wake of Jose Calderon returning to the lineup following a hip injury. When the team released Pops Mensah-Bonsu on Tuesday, a roster spot became available. Calderon entered the game with 1:49 left in the first quarter and made his first shot when he buried an open three-pointer in the second quarter.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
Toronto's win-loss record now stands at 18-18, the first time it has been at .500 since Nov. 15.
And there were plenty of other reasons for Raptor fans to revel in the win. How about the defence of Andrea Bargnani, the conscience-less three-point shooter whose one-on-one banging with Howard set the early tone? And how about the picture of ho-hum lassitude that was Vince Carter, the former Raptor who has under-delivered in Orlando thus far? Carter's seven points on 2-for-7 shooting were punctuated by a second-half technical foul for moaning to a referee. Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan, the Toronto rookie who famously announced himself as the second coming of Air Canada, outplayed his counterpart at shooting guard with a 12-point effort.
Best of all, how about Toronto's defence? On pace to be historically horrendous at this season's worst moments, it held the Magic to 42 per cent field-goal shooting.
Raptors hold off Magic rally
It really is quite something, what we’re seeing with Andrea Bargnani in the last little while.
It’s not just the strong individual defence he’s playing on other big men (there are those among us who never thought his one-on-one play was nearly as bad as many contended) and it’s not just the big shots he’s hitting (and those two threes off the Jose drive-and-kicks were huge last night.)
It’s the way he’s “engaged” in the game, emotional, talkative, demonstrative.
If there was one infuriating thing about him, it was his tendency to be laconic, to kind of loaf through stretches of games looking like he’d rather be in a dentist’s chair than on a basketball court.
I noticed it as long ago as the Milwaukee game in early December, a more vocal Bargnani.
And now we’re seeing it nightly.
I know the kid has taken his shots over the years for a variety of issues real and perceived but it’s kind of interesting that he’s come through it and out the other side a more confident, capable and involved teammate.
Maybe there is a level of mental toughness that’s been long dormant.
Calderon shakes off the rust with emphatic win
Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh had 18 points apiece, and the Toronto Raptors nearly blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead before holding off the Orlando Magic for a 108-103 victory Wednesday night.
Hedo Turkoglu added 17 points to help the Raptors win for the seventh time in their last eight games. They also got a boost with five points from Jose Calderon in his return from a hip strain.
Vince Carter’s dunk with 43.4 seconds remaining trimmed Toronto’s lead to two. But J.J. Redick missed a three-pointer in the final seconds that could have tied the score.
Redick finished with 22 points, and Dwight Howard had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost three straight for the first time this season.
Toronto made this one sting.
Orlando Magic wake up too late, lose to Toronto Raptors
Jose Calderon is back in uniform, and he picked a pretty good time to join the action: The Toronto Raptors, after all, are rolling right now.
The point guard returned to the floor last night in Orlando after missing the better part of the last month, and he did not show much rust. Part of the credit for that goes to Calderon's teammates, who are justifiably feeling good about themselves. That showed in last night's 108-103 win over the Magic at Amway Arena.
It was Toronto's seventh win in eight games, but this was probably the biggest. Coming into the game, the Raptors had gone just 5-13 away from the Air Canada Centre, without a quality win in the bunch. Before the Raptors came to town, the Magic had lost just three times at home. All of that changed with one game, likely the Raptors' best of the season.
The Magic lost two of their last three games on the road and against the Raptors, they repeated a lackluster pattern that goes something like this: Lolly-gag for most of the game, then make a frantic lunge at the tape.
"I've never been a big fan of comebacks that you don't win," Van Gundy said.
The Magic didn't really show any energy or inspiration until about five minutes left, long after they trailed by as many as 18 points and heard at least two choruses of light booing from the fed-up faithful.
The Magic chopped the deficit to three at 104-101 with 9.9 seconds remaining, going on a 21-7 run. J.J. Redick's 3-point shot came up short, but Redick knew that even a tie or a comeback win was fool's gold.
"It shouldn't have come to that," said Redick, one of the few stand-up guys in the vacated dressing room. "We shouldn't be in that position. We can't keep turning it off and on."
The Magic's offense has been undermined by turnovers and disoriented for a while, leading to blanket frustration and unnecessary rants at the refs (Carter and Howard picked up technical fouls). Orlando shot a frigid-as-Florida 29 percent (9-of-31) from the 3-point line.
But it was the defense that was non-existent until the Magic became desperate against the 18-18 Raptors, who had lost the previous three meetings this season to Orlando.
Toronto has plenty of firepower and shot 54.9 percent, even going 9-of-20 from the 3-point line.
Sunshine Girl – 07.01.10