Daily Raptor Dish - 21-02-2010
Old 02-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 21-02-2010

Raptors rally from 9-point deficit

Who would have guessed with the Leafs and the rest of the NHL off for an extended Olympic break, that blood would be shed at the ACC in their absence.

But that was the case as a star-lacking, but game, Washington Wizards gave the Raptors all they could handle in their first Saturday night tilt at home since Feb. 3, 2001.

Andray Blatche, one of a handful of Wizards still around after the Wizards went into sell mode at the trade deadline, is showing he is more than capable of taking over the minutes previously logged by the likes of Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.

Blatche got some special attention from Reggie Evans midway through the third quarter and required a 30-second timeout to patch up a bloodied nose.

Sonny Weems also left the game bloodied after taking an errant elbow in the mouth.

It was that kind of night.

Bargnani shuts door on Wizards

In just over a two-minute span beginning at the 4:03 mark of the fourth quarter and with the sellout crowd imploring the home side to get some stops, Bargnaniís contributions were as follows: Rebound, block, block, block, rebound.

We canít say this for certain, but if thatís not the best couple of minutes of Bargnaniís NBA career from a defensive standpoint, it has got to be right up there.

In that time frame, the Raptors went from a four-point deficit to a five-point lead with the visiting Wizards barely getting a sniff of the Raptors basket.

Bargnani finished the game with four blocks, matching the entire output by the Wizards. He also had six rebounds and 18 points, all but two of them coming in the first half.

With those four blocks, Bargnani now has at least a block in 14 consecutive games. Over that span, he has 26.

Andrea Bargnani block party lifts Raptors

Coach Jay Triano's quick alterations to his team's defence in the fourth quarter proved to be crucial, with the Wizards unable to handle rapid-fire change.

"We went small and every timeout we tried to give them a different look," Triano said. "We finally hit 'em with a trap that we had been sitting on; we finally hit them with switches, which we had been sitting and waiting on.

"I think it was the last 5:55 (5:40 in fact) they only scored four points."

In that time, the Raptors turned into defensive demons and no one more so than Bargnani, who finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.

Providing excellent help defence in the paint, he swatted away three Wizards shots during a 3:19 stretch late in the fourth when Toronto went from down nine to up five.

Raptors Jack-it-up, dump Wizards

The Wizards used a 31-21 third quarter to take a three-point lead into the fourth and soon stretched it to 10 with a 7-0 run to open the quarter.

Jack's three-pointer with 5:09 to play brought the Raptors to within six at 100-94. Then with 3:54 left he hit two free throws to cut the lead to 100-98.

The Raptors got the ball with 3:25 left when the Wizards couldn't get off a shot within 24 seconds. And the Raptors took a 101-100 lead with 3:16 to play when Turkoglu made a three-point play on a field goal and a free throw.

Bargnani's blocked shot led to Wright's slam dunk off the fast break to put Toronto ahead 103-100 with 2:16 to play.

Bargnani picked the rebound on a missed shot and Turkoglu banked home the bucket at the other end for a 105-100 lead with 1:36 to play. Blatche cut the lead to three with a lay-up with 1:21 left.

Blatche missed on a reverse lay-up and Turkoglu nabbed the rebound with 41.8 seconds to play, then Jose Calderon made two free throws with 11.2 seconds to play for a 107-102 lead.

Jack carries Raptors past new-look Wizards

With the guy from Georgia Tech who usually is announced last in the team introductions in street clothes, the real question on Saturday night was who would fill that role.

It turns out Jarrett Jack, also from Georgia Tech, got the marquee spot. He also took over from his friend and teammate Chris Bosh, out with an ankle injury, as the team's fourth quarter spark plug.

Jack scored the first seven points of a decisive 14-0 run, as the Raptors edged the Washington Wizards 109-104. Toronto is now at 31-24, a season-best seven games above .500.

Jack put on his pit-bull persona, going into the paint with abandon. He hit a three-pointer and then hit four free throws to get the Raptors within striking distance of the Wizards. Hedo Turkoglu scored five of the next seven points, as the Raptors took a lead they would not give back. Squeezed in the middle of two Turkoglu buckets, though, was a dunk from Antoine Wright off of a heady pass from Jack.

That is when a loud crowd - besides opening night and the Raptors January win over the Lakers, this was probably the most enthusiastic the Air Canada Centre has been - got louder.

Wizards fall short in Toronto

Josh Howard (17 points) missed two tip shots, Blatche, Randy Foye (14 points) and Thornton had seemingly easy layups swatted by Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani (18 points, four blocks). Blatche finally ended the scoring drought with an up-and-under move for a layup that brought the Wizards within 105-102, but with a chance to bring the Wizards closer, his reverse layup attempt rolled off the rim. "I made a great move to get open to get the rim the ball just didn't go in. I don't know how, I thought it was good," Blatche said.

On the Raptors' next possession, Jack missed a driving layup, but Turkoglu rebounded the miss and Josť Calderon made two free throws to secure the win.

"We should've had that game," Thornton said after scoring 10 points. "We couldn't make layups. We couldn't throw it in the ocean for some reason. It was a back-to-back, I guess, but that's not an excuse."

When these teams met on Dec. 4, they were headed in opposite directions. The Raptors arrived in Washington on a five-game losing streak, including a 42-point loss in Atlanta. The Wizards appeared to be a team that had finally turned the corner after winning four of five games. But after that meeting -- in which Turkoglu buried a difficult baseline jumper and Gilbert Arenas missed a potential game-tying layup in a 109-107 overtime loss -- the Raptors finally found their way and the Wizards sank into the abyss.

"From that time, they won the game and they kind of catapulted their season and we've been through, as you are very much aware, a lot of situations," Washington Coach Flip Saunders said.

Sunshine Girl - 21.02.10

SUNshine Girl Andreane, 23, loves to sew, and she wanted to show us her latest creation before she added the buttons. This Leo also enjoys listening to Radiohead with her friends and is into photography. Funny, so are we.

RF Girls of the Day - US Curling Team

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Old 02-21-2010, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yay for sideboob and the hot women of curling
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)

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SSG 8.5/10 is she asian? What the hell is she lol
RFG 8.4/10
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by babyface View Post
SSG 8.5/10 is she asian? What the hell is she lol
RFG 8.4/10
Asian? How the hell does she look asian to you?
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know. Anyways that is prolly the best SSG I have seen
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gurk View Post
I know. Anyways that is prolly the best SSG I have seen
+1. Wow.

And it's actually a decent picture too!
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