A fast start was once again the tonic the Raptors needed. Jumping out to a 10-2 lead, on some fine passes & shooting from Jose Calderon, Toronto was ahead by 13 after Q1. The Bobcats used their speed & quick hands on defence to punch back on several occasions, but never got closer than 14 points. The Raps won all 4 quarters, & held their opponent to under 79 points for the second straight game.
Coach Casey played everyone who dressed save Mickael Pietrus, & only Aaron Gray was scoreless. The Raps’ top scorer was the increasing reliable super-sub Alan Anderson, with 16 (although he needed 17 shots to get there). His ability to hit tough 3-balls under pressure is remarkable. Calderon drained 3 3s, one of them when bleeding slightly after getting whacked in the head, & dished 6 assists. His early pick-pocket of Kemba Walker, leading to an uncontested layup, was a thing of beauty. The play seemed to bother Walker, who was a non-factor with 12 points, which shared the team lead (!) with Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist & Ben Gordon.
Amir Johnson & Ed Davis continue to click in the Raps’ front court. They each had 3 offensive boards & 5 defensive ones, & Amir scored 13 points to Ed’s 12. Neither player is taking crazy shots, & they are mobile & effective on defense. Kyle Lowry did a fine job leading the second unit, dishing out 6 assists & hitting 3 3-balls of his own. Terrence Ross scored 7 quick points in Q2, including a monster dunk & a 3, but was quiet after that. DeMar DeRozan was subdued all game, going 2/8 & finishing with 6. Landry Fields once again showed his rebounding skills, pulling down a game-high 11, but his jump shot continues to be a serious problem. His attempts past 10 feet weren’t close. Quincy Acy was in the game early, by his standards, & didn’t look out of place. He scored 6 points, & pulled down 5 O-boards, in 18 minutes. John Lucas provided a welcome 7 points in his brief appearance. Dare we hope that he has rediscovered his missing stroke?
The 14-22 Raptors can end the home stand with a 4-2 mark if they can prevail against Milwaukee’s Bucks, who visit the ACC on Sunday afternoon.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.