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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 14.11.09
Raptors claw back against Clippers
Raptors rookie awaits his time
The Raptors were down, but far from out for most of the night.
When the opposition is the downtrodden L.A. Clippers, the improbable becomes probable, the unlikely seems more likely.
And such was the case Friday night, when the Raptors rallied from a 22-point hole to escape L.A. with a 104-89 win, giving the 5-4 Raptors their first back-to-back wins of the young season.
For the record, Toronto's comeback tied for the largest in franchise history.
"I don't know why we fall behind," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. "But I like our fight. It shows we can do it and it shows we've got character."
The Clippers began the game by making every shot from virtually every conceivable spot on the floor. They ended the night by missing every shot from virtually every conceivable spot on the floor.
In the game’s final 6:58, the Clippers went scoreless, missing all 11 of their attempts. They started by making 15 of 20 shots.
Raptors erase 22-point deficit to beat Clippers
The day will arrive when Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan will be on the floor in crunch time, basketball's make-it or break-it moment when games are won and lost, when reputations are made.
Chances are pretty good that moment won't arrive during the team's four-game trip, which began with last night's late-night tip in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
It probably won't arrive anytime soon, but it awaits, either this season or next.
As DeRozan returned to his native L.A. for the first time as a pro, he couldn't help but reflect on his one and only season in college, a time when DeRozan was the man.
As a freshman at USC, a program that has turned to former Raptors head coach Kevin O'Neill, DeRozan was asked to produce game-winning shots and step up in crunch time.
He was the go-to guy, the player the Trojans turned to win a game.
CB4 leads Raptors past Clippers
If there was an easy answer, Jay Triano would tell everyone.
But there isn't, so all he can really do is sit back and marvel at the kind of rollercoaster night his Raptors can put people through.
For the second successive game, they had moments in the first half where they were atrocious but they came storming back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 at the Staples Center here last night.
The coach was happy, but not amused.
"I have no idea," he said. "We said we wanted to come out with three straight stops (in the first quarter) and we did and then they scored 15 straight (possessions) almost in the first quarter.
"I have no idea, I have no answers. Our coverages are where they're supposed to be.
"It's not a real high-energy group, but we find the energy as the game goes on, our offence starts to flow and we buy in at the defensive end."
With Marco Belinelli providing a spark with 15 points off the bench and Jose Calderon sparking a third-quarter surge, Toronto came back from 22 points down to win.
The rally ties the biggest comeback of any game in franchise history. Twice before they had rallied from 22 in arrears, most recently on Feb. 4, 2005 against Washington.
Raptors beat Clippers 104-89
Chris Bosh had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Toronto Raptors, who overcame an early 22-point deficit and made four three-point shots during a game-ending 16-0 run that carried them to a 104-89 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
The Raptors began a four-game road trip with their fourth straight victory over the Clippers at Staples Center. Andrea Bargnani had 19 points and Jose Calderon added 18 for the Raptors.
Chris Kaman, who fought through a virus to get 20 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's home loss at New Orleans, made his first five shots against the Raptors and finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes. But his layup with 8:18 remaining was the last field goal for the Clippers, who went scoreless over the final 6:58 and shot 5 for 17 in the fourth quarter.
Toronto 104, Clippers 89
"We really needed this game. We've got a tough road trip, so it was important to start it in a good way," center Andrea Bargnani said. "We started the game very bad and they went up 20 points, but after halftime our defense was much better and that gave us the confidence to score the ball. We gave more effort and were more focused."
Bargnani had 19 points and Jose Calderon added 18 for the Raptors. Toronto's bench outscored Los Angeles' 35-20, including 15 by Marco Belinelli, and beat the Clippers at Staples Center for the fourth straight time.
"The guys from the bench were very important, especially because the starting five was so-so. We had to be ready and be aggressive when we came in, and play defense," Belinelli said after the Raptors tied a franchise record for the largest deficit overcome in a victory.
The opening 15 minutes of basketball plays out beautifully for the Clippers, exactly how you’d construct a best case scenario against Toronto. Marcus Camby uses his agility and length to stay between Chris Bosh and the basket. Chris Kaman bullies Andrea Bargnani down on the block, getting plenty of space for his step-back jumper. Baron Davis finds seams in a defense that’s been both slow to fight through screens and flabby in the interior once the offense has broken the plane. Al Thornton works close to the basket to get high-percentage looks. And the Clippers perimeter defenders chase the Raptors’ snipers off the line.
The Clippers build a 22-point lead in the second quarter before taking their foot off the gas heading into halftime. Toronto begins to apply more precision to their pick-and-rolls in order to carve out more space for Bosh to work in the halfcourt. All it takes is a little spacing. By forcing the Clipper defenders to stay at home on the weak side, the Raptors enable Bosh to run wild in the second and third quarters.
Sunshine Girl - 14.11.09