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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  38 responses

Post Up: Rolling Raptors

Toronto makes a statement with win over Indy

by Brett Weisband | @weisband

Mavericks (19-13) 87, Wizards (14-15) 78

Dallas used a 9-0 run late in the fourth quarter to erase a four-point hole, keeping the Wizards from going over .500 for the first time all season. Monta Ellis scored 23 on 7-18 shooting to lead the Mavs, who overcame Dirk Nowtizki’s worst outing of the season – nine points on 3-14 shooting.

After Marcin Gortat scored to put the Wiz up 74-70, Washington went scoreless for more than four minutes as the Mavs made their run. John Wall led the team with 22 points but turned the ball over seven times. Trevor Booker had a career-high 19 boards and chipped in 10 points for the double double.

Raptors (15-15) 95, Pacers (25-6) 82

It’s starting to look like the East might have another legit team. The Raptors knocked off Indiana, who came in with the League’s best record. Toronto pulled away in the fourth, outscoring the Pacers 17-8 over the final six minutes of the game. DeMar DeRozan paced the Raps with 26 points and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds. Some of the Raptors’ other parts that had a tough go of things while Rudy Gay was on the roster stepped up as well; Kyle Lowry had 13 points and a season-high 14 assists, Terrence Ross scored 18 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 and nine boards. DeRozan and Lowry did most of the damage as Toronto pulled away, combining for 16 of the team’s final 20 points.

The Pacers had a rough night, turning the ball over 23 times, their highest figure this season, and shooting only 43 percent. Roy Hibbert (16 points) fouled out in under 22 minutes of playing time, and Paul George shot just 5-14 for his 12 points.

The Raptors have tough tests upcoming, playing Indiana again as well as Miami next week, but they’ve already beaten top teams in both conferences over their winning stretch. At the very least, it’s nice that the Atlantic division finally has a team playing .500 ball.

Timberwolves (16-16) 124, Pelicans (14-16) 112

Minnesota rolled to victory in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score indicates. The Timberwolves rode a balanced scoring effort to victory, getting double-digit scoring performances from seven players, including three guys over 20. Nikola Pekovic led with 22, Kevin Love overcame a tough shooting night (1-7 from long range) to score 21 and Ricky Rubio once again flirted with a triple double, going for 14 points, nine assists and eight boards.

The Pellies shot 51.7 percent, yet still trailed by as many as 30 points in the second half. They allowed 55.7 percent shooting by the Wolves and put them on the line 35 times. Ryan Anderson turned in a solid scoring effort with 25 but struggled from beyond the arc (2-8 from three). Eric Gordon returned to the lineup for New Orleans, but struggled on his way to 12 points (5-12 shooting) after missing three games with a hip injury.

Sixers (10-21) 114, Denver (14-17) 102

The Sixers picked up their first back-to-back win since their 3-0 start while Denver’s tailspin toward the lottery continued. Evan Turner led Philly with 23 points and Michael Carter-Williams filled his stat line with 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Thad Young chipped in a double double, going for 17 and 10 boards.

The loss for Denver marked their eighth straight defeat, the franchise’s longest skid in over a decade. Frustration bubbled over for the Nuggets as Andre Miller, who received a DNP – coach’s decision, had to be held back in a sideline argument. Denver gave up 68 first half points and allowed the Sixers, one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, to hit nearly 40 percent from behind the arc. Ty Lawson (15 and 11 assists) and J.J. Hickson (19 and 12 boards) posted double doubles for Denver, but the rest of the team struggled; Denver shot  39.6 percent overall and hit just 5-25 three-point tries.

Clippers (22-12) 112, Bobcats (14-19) 85

A competitive first half turned into a second-half blowout as the Clippers romped to a victory. Blake Griffin had another monster game, going for 31 points (14-20 shooting) and 12 boards, his third 30-point game in the Clips’ last four, while Jared Dudley (20 points, 6-9 from three) got going from long range to key the win. Chris Paul had a quiet double double with 17 and 14, making seven of his first eight field goal attempts. 

The game went into the half tied at 56, with the lead changing hands early and often. In the third quarter, Charlotte went cold, hitting  4-19 from the field, while Dudley went off, hitting three of his three-pointers in a quarter the Clips won by 12. All five Charlotte starters scored in double figures, paced by Al Jefferson’s 14 and 12 boards, but the team shot just 38.2 percent for the game.

 

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  • ATL dynamite

    Derozan’s mid range is tooooooooo tasty, I need to learn from his game so bad

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    pretty funny that Rudy Gay …. being as good as so many of you claim, has such a great effect on teams by leaving.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Crazy Raps/Pacers game. As a Raps fan, you can never be sure of any lead until the buzzer sounds. Even though I wanted them to tank at the beginning of the season, they’re playing the best basketball I’ve seen in awhile. It’s actually fun watching the Raptors after that Rudy Gay trade. A LOT more ball movement.

  • i_ball

    Even though he has been playing pretty good in Sacramento, his value probably went down after the trade with the Raptors playing so good

  • AlbertBarr

    He just shouldn’t be the player you build around or your best player. As the third option on the Kings he playing pretty good ball. Efficiently too.

  • spit hot fiyah

    the raps are actually too good to tank right now. even if they were to trade lowry and derozan before the deadline, they won’t “catch” philly, the bucks, jazz, the NY teams if the continue to stink, kings. no need to bottom out unless u basically assured a top 5 pick

  • Docio

    Rudy gay need to look in the mirror and adjust his game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    true, it’s just too bad that “3rd option” comes for $17.9 million this season, and $19.3 million next.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “The Raptors are passing the ball 30 more times per game since the trade, per SportVU data provided to Grantland, and shooting about three more 3-pointers — an intended benefit of replacing Gay in the starting lineup with Terrence Ross.”

    - http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10218662/the-overhaul-toronto-raptors

  • LakeShow

    Kevin Love was amazing last night.

    Because they won of course….

    Right?

  • LakeShow

    It’s not his fault someone payed him too much.

    Same situation as Joe Johnson.

    I’m happy for him and the Kings. They should do well together.

  • MUBWAR

    isn’t Bosh making 20mil a year for the heat?

  • LakeShow

    What’s your point?
    They win championships…

  • AlbertBarr

    Exactly. The Kings now seemingly competent front office knew they weren’t going to get anyone better than Gay with our modest cap space this summer. HIs big contract comes off the books WHen we need to sign IT to his non rookie contract. So we get a really good player, albeit overpaid, and have a chance to make the team more attractive to free agents when we have even more cap space in two summers. Best case scenario is Rudy opts in for next year, we win closer to 50% of our games, Demarcus and/or IT are all stars, we improve on defense and in 2015 we have a new arena an maybe a playoff team if we can get some better players. Rudy helps with that evolution even if he isn’t playing for us next season or beyond.

  • MUBWAR

    i wasn’t talking about accomplishments, i was just stating that a third option sometimes comes with a 20 million $ price tag.

  • VanCityBBall

    Geez thank you for finding this!!!

  • LakeShow

    Yes that’s true..
    When you’re winning championships not struggling to make the playoffs is when it’s okay to have 3rd option with a $20m price tag is the point.

  • LakeShow

    Boom, nailed it.

    This is in no way bad for the Kings.

  • Saleem Rainman

    T-dot stand up!

    Also, John Wall watch:

    After the last 3, pretty good games, where he had only 4 turnovers total, John wall has had 12 turnovers in his last two, including an eye popping 7 turnovers to his 5 assists last night against the mavs.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    First of all, Bosh is a much better player than Gay.

    And second, he’s the third option for a perennial title contender. Not a doormat.

  • http://RAPTORS.COM/ BRAVO

    I agree Bosh > Gay

  • http://RAPTORS.COM/ BRAVO

    I know man this is the best Basketball I’ve seen from this team in YEARS!

  • Max

    Shouldn’t the Raps be tanking??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He was actually not very good…and they still won.

    If anything it supports the idea that his performance has a small effect on them winning….not what you are trying to imply.

  • AlbertBarr

    Luckily the Kings were already not passing the ball. Perfect fit!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Man I might need to start watching Raptors games again. I always knew this but Lowry is finally proving that, when healthy, he balls at an All-Star level. *KNOCK ON WOOD* Raptors would be foolish to tank now.

  • LakeShow

    Hmm…

    So when Lamarcus had a 12 point game on 19 FG’s and the Blazers still won, it was telling that LA actually has a small effect on the teams ability to win. Correct?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Nah, I’m just saying, the point you are trying to make doesn’t work in this situation.
    Regardless, Love is great when he’s great. He’s just not a “top 3″ player. Or whatever you want to call that exclusive group of individuals who make teams winners by themselves.

  • LakeShow

    I don’t know who it was that started that “top 3″ player nonsense.

    He is top 7, probably top 5. He’s very arguably the best PF in the L is what my argument is.

    I don’t think LA is that type of player either. The type that makes a team a competitor despite the situation.

    If you are going to use Loves’ bad seasons against him you have take all things into account.

    Health, Teammates, Coaching, etc…

    When you do that, it is very, very difficult to tell who is the better overall player between Love and LA.

  • LakeShow

    Should be, but good luck getting that top pick while leading the Atlantic division.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I agree, which as I’ve said i understand and respect the argument for either of them. I just prefer the skillset at that position that Aldridge brings to the table.

  • LakeShow

    Well then I should just shut the hell up then shouldn’t I?!

    lulz…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol, I was sincerely just giving you a hard time

  • yamila8a

    Hervir el agua caliente hace que el juego, he sido una preocupación.http://marlen6ef.webgarden.es/

  • brothasdontsurf

    Rudy Gay is in the discussion for the Top 5…………ball stoppers in the league.

  • Kingj9

    Bosh = Gay

  • Justin G

    Why do people assume tanking guarantees you the top pick? Ask the Celtics about how trying to get Duncan worked out, among others

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