So let's start with who is not playing in this game. Jermaine O'Neal is out with his knee and ankle. Meanwhile for the Bobcats no J-Rich for the Bobcats. He is said to be injured but has been the talk of several trade rumours. But point is he will not be in the line-up for Bobcats. The Toronto Raptors faces a game that is about as much a must win as you can get for a late November game. The Raptors will be looking to improve on 2-4 record at the A.C.C this year. It was Jose Calderon bobble head night and he must step up to the plate tonight on defense. Raymond Felton and D.J Augustin coming off impressive outings vs the 76ers. This is a game the Raptors desperately need to win. Andrea Bargnani would start at the center spot and Jamario Moon will fill in for Andrea who had been playing at the 3 spot.
Raptors win the tip and score with a Bosh mid range jumper. Raptors force a turnover on the first Bobcat trip of the night. Bosh after a few turnover by both would score again on a turn around jumper down low. Gerald Wallace would be sent to the line on a Moon foul and he made both. Jose Calderon hit a nice jumper from the corner and Raptors lead early 6-3. Jamario Moon did not see a pass from Calderon it would lead to a turnover and a second foul for Moon. Andrea Bargnani got his first two of the night. He would score again on a second chance for the Raptors. Gerald Wallace took an elbow to the eye from Jamario Moon. He would leave.
Raptors with a 10-7 lead and Chris Bosh fumbled the ball a bit but was heading to the free throw line. Bosh would make both for Raptors. The Raptors were much more active on defense tonight creating deflections and causing headaches. Gearld Wallace was back in the game and back at the line going one of two with some question on how well he could see the target. Raptors were off to a decent start with a 15- 9 lead about midway through the first. Both teams were looking sloppy and the Bobcats manged to rattle off 4 straight in between the miscues by both. Chris Bosh would end the mini 4-0 run with the a basket he had 8. But Gerald Wallace was back at it again and he scored and had 11 points for the Bobcats. A.P made a nice jumper and he got the Raptor advantage to 19-15. Sean May was seeing some time and the former UNC product had a couple baskets. Raymond Felton had a basket and the score was all even at 19-19. Bobcats continued to keep it going as Emeka Okafor had a couple baskets and Bobcats had a 4 point advantage. Chris Bosh would answer with a drive and score and a trip to the line. He would make that and it was 23-22. Bobcats on the final trip for them of the quarter had a sweet alley opp to Gearld Wallace. Jason Kapono would hit a 2-ball and it was a one point leading 25-24
The Bobcats started a bit of a run to start the quarter. Chris Bosh would again get to the hoop score and draw a foul. Another 3 points for Bosh and Raptors were again just down 29-28 early in the second quarter. Bosh would score again to put the Raptors in front. Bobcats would score and Bosh again replied he was 7-7 and at least he understood how important this game was. A steal and Roko Ukic hooked Bosh up for the dunk. Ukic would then get a rare bucket for himself and Raptors lead 36-31.
But Matt Carroll would score. Bobcats would get another basket and Bosh got called for a foul and get a technical as well. It was clear Bosh was playing with an edge as he on his own was trying to keep the Raptors alive. Raptors after letting the Bobcats tie the score would get a basket to go back in front. Gearld Wallace would be fouled by Joey Graham who was seeing some rare time. Wallace would connect all tied again at 38-38. Andrea Bargnani would make a block to keep the score tied. Joey Graham with a rare basket on the offensive tap back. Raptors lead 40-38.
D.J Augustin would draw a foul on Chris Bosh his second of the night and D.J was heading to the line for 3 shots. D.J would make them all for his first 3 points of the night and his team had the one point lead. Augustin would follow it up with a 3 pointer in the more traditional sense. That would get answered by an Anthony Parker 3-ball. Gerald Wallace got another basket and Bosh would answer in reply for the Raptors. Both were having great nights individually. Joey Graham drove and got fouled and was at the line with a chance to put the Raptors back in the lead. Joey would get it done. Joey Graham would get a highlight reel dunk and on a night where few have shown up for Raptors, Joey G has been able to do so. A foul late in the half would send Joey Graham back to the line. The Raptors got a final push from Joey to have a 51-46 lead. Chris Bosh had 24 points and was keeping his team in this game.
Raptors did not play a great half but they had a 5 point lead. So a good second half was needed to secure a win that they were in bad need of. Bobcats missed on two chances to score to start the half for them. The Raptors lost the ball out of bounds on their first chance. Gearld Wallace would score the next time up the floor for the Bobcats. Andrea Bargnani nailed a 3 pointer on his first shot of the second half. Chris Bosh would get an offensive rebound and get fouled on a drive to the basket. He would make both and was 8-8 from the line to this point. Raptors lead 56-48 early in the third. Gearld Wallace and Chris Bosh were having a battle. Wallace was keeping the Bobcats in it. But Bosh was doing just a bit more to keep his Raptors in it. The score was 60-54 Raptors.
Chris Bosh had 32 points with lots left to play but yet his team had just a 62-59 lead. Andrea Bargnani was giving help on D with his 3rd block on the night but the lead was still just 3 points. Joey Graham was having a night and he had another basket plus a foul. I am far from Joey Graham fan but he was helping more than anyone else to this point. The bad news is Joey Graham would pick up his 4th foul on a night you needed him to stay on the floor. But Joey was staying in the game and had 13 points a season high I am confident in saying without checking. Bargnani would get a basket and raptors had built a 70-61 lead. Jose Calderon joined the party hitting a 3 pointer. Joey Graham had another basket and he had 15 points now I am almost ready to believe again. The Raptors would take a 75-68 lead to the 4th quarter.
Raptors needed a win bad and let's see if they could get it. Jose Calderon getting another 3-ball was a good start. Jason Kapono would pop in a long 2 pointer and Raptors lead was 80-70. Joey Graham would get nailed with an offensive foul his 5th foul on the night. Chris Bosh would get back in on the action with a basket to push his total to 34 on the evening. Raptors lead was 82-74 for the Raptors. Joey Graham was remaining in the game with the 5 fouls.
Joey would eventually get taken out by Sam before he fouled out and he got a nice hand from the ACC crowd that was well deserved. Despite a huge night from Chris Bosh and rare night of excellence from Joey Graham the lead was only 87-82. Gearld Wallace cam back in the game with about 5 minute left to try to rally the Bobcats. Joey Graham was back in as well with his 5 fouls. D.J Augustin would drive and score and that Raptor lead was now just 3 points at 87-84.
Chris Bosh does not get the respect that a player of his level deserves. He drove to basket and got hacked with no call. Emeka Oakfor hit a corner jumper and this was a one point game. Chris Bosh answer the challenge with his 38 and 39th points of the night on a jumper. Raptors had ball and got key second chance that Joey Graham would score on. He had 17 points. That was 3 points away from a career high for Joey. Raptors had a 5 point lead with a minute to play. Bobcats would mis-fire and Raptors had the ball Jose Calderon would hit a basket and this game should be over. A bobcat turnover that just so happened ended up in the hands of Joey Graham. Raptors get back to .500 with a win. Chris Bosh had 39 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. Raptors take the Bobcats for second time this year 93-86. For the rest of the numbers check out the boxscore below.
The defense was better but not perfect but the bottom line was the Raptors got a win and it was one that they desperately needed.