Well before we get started with this game, big news in the division these two teams take part in. Al Harrington is going to be a New York Knick. He was traded for Jamal Crawford earlier today. The Knicks are a surprising 6-5 and the Raptors have 4 straight at home and are looking to make a move and leave the Nets, Knicks and Sixers behind. Vince Carter hate will never die for some but it is a whole new era not just for the Raptors but for Vince. The Nets no longer have a big three they just have V.C. He has guys like Devin Harris and Yi as team mates now. Harris has be outstanding and Mark Cuban has to be disappointed with the trade he made looking at how Harris has performed. It is the Nets and Raptors and it is always exciting so lets get ready. Let's Go Raptors and I am sure more than a few will add V.C Sucks!!!
I got a prediction for you in this one. I am saying J.O has at least one hard foul on V.C. It be sweet to see. I don't hate Vince but would I like to see him get knocked around? HELL YA!!! Raptors win the opening tip. J.O would hit a turnaround and open the scoring. Devin Harris who is leading the Nets in scoring had the answer. In case you were wondering the fans still hate Vince. His first touch of night got the boos and the miss on his shot got cheers. A lot of fans said they were over the Vince thing but seems they still like to get on him just like always. But the rest of Nets had an 8-6 lead without V.C to this point. Andrea Bargnani would make a shot to tie it at 8. Devin Harris tried to break a 10-10 tie but he was denied by J.O. It was Vince Carter taking advantage of a mis-match scoring on a jumper over Jose. Jermaine O'Neal did not like a call and said a few bad words. That was good enough to earn a technical foul that the Nets would make to hold a early 13-10 lead.
Trouble for the Nets though as Vince Carter and Yi would pick up fouls back to back. That was the second for both and we were still fairly early in the first quarter. Both remained in the game and the Raptors made two free throws to pull to 1 down. There was a lot of fouls being called in this game and the Raptors were already in the bonus. Bargnani would cash in a pair from the line. A Jose Calderon triple gave the Raptors a 17-15 lead. Vince Carter had an answer for that with a vintage V.C jam. But Bosh answered that with a basket and one. Another bucket and another that was 7 straight for Bosh and it matched the Raptor lead of 7. That says a lot, V.C got the highlight and Chris Bosh just got it done. That sums up the difference between these two to me. Jarvis Hayes would end the CB4 run with a jumper. But it didn't slow Bosh a bit he went right back on the other end and scored. The Nets decided to double Bosh and he just tossed it out to Jose and he nails a three ball. He would then get a steal and got the easy lay-up. The score was 31-19 with just a minute and a bit left to play in the first. Bosh had another 2 free throws to add to an impressive first quarter. Bosh would look for 2 more but he could not convert but he had 15 of the Raptors 33 in the quarter. The Raptor lead was 33-22 after one quarter of play.
What a start for Bosh and the Raps. The crowd was fired up for a Friday night with Vince Carter in town. Jamario Moon had check in along with some others. But Moon was 2-2 to start his night at the office. the teams were trading buckets early. Kris Humphries would match Moon with 2 scores in a row of his own. Raptors had a 41-28 lead. Jason Kapono got in on the fun with a two pointer. But Vince Carter had the nice finger roll to respond. Jarvis Hayes would hit a 3-ball. Nets cut the lead to 8 points. But Andrea Bargnani pushed it back to double digits. Vince Carter answered the boos with a nice fading jumper.
Jose and Chris Bosh returned but it was Andrea Bargnani with a 3 pointer. Vince Carter was heating up a bit as he made back to back scores after the Bargnani 3-pointer. But Bargnani got another chance to make a 3-ball and he would make it. Bargnani showing some smarts as he drove it this time and got himself to the line. He would make both and he had 16 points and the Raptors lead 53-43. Andrea Bargnani is starting to show just why he was picked number 1 by Bryan Colangelo. Jermaine O'Neal did not want to feel left out as he would score and draw a foul. He would have to wait for a time out to see if he could convert the 3 point play. He would make it and the Raptor lead was 11 points. Jose Calderon scored a 3 pointer off an inbound play. The Raptors looked very good tonight. Everyone had bee down playing this game and Vince's return. But the Raptors were all fired and had a 61-47 lead heading to halftime.
So the Raptors played a great first half of basketball could they make it two? New Jersey had two chances to score on the opening trip and missed both. But after Raptor miss Vince Carter would get a score. Anthony Parker who had not scored in the first half was making up for lost time with 4 early in the third. Vince Carter would be denied by J.O and the crowd loved it. Chris Bosh would score on the other end. The Raptors had built up a 69-51 lead. The Nets were in some serious trouble. Nets rookie Brook Lopez would get a basket and a foul. He would miss the shot and Bobby Simmons would score on the put back. He would score again and the Nets had a 6-0 run to cut the advantage down to 12 with a time out on the floor.
Raptors out of the time out had turnover but J.O made sure they would not pay with a rejection on the defensive end. Devin Harris had been MIA for the Nets. The Nets were coming on despite that as Vince Carter hit a 3 pointer to cut the lead down to just 7. But Andrea Bargnani made a nice move off a Calderon feed to score. But Vince Carter would drive and kick it out to Yi for three pointer he would make. Bosh was working hard and heading to the line looking to get the lead back to double figures after the Nets had got to with in 6 points. He would make both and was 9-10 from the line on the night. Raptors lead was 75-65. But New Jersey would not go away as the fought back to 6 points down. They were using zone to frustrate the Raptors on defense. But Chris Bosh would drive and score plus the and 1.
The Nets were down 7 points and Devin Harris was back. He was apparently having some stomach issues. The Canadian food was not sitting well or he accidentally ate Vince's food... maybe. The Raptors were starting to break down the zone a bit. But this game was now a close one. Andrea Bargnani would hit a big 3-ball at the end of the quarter to make the lead 9 after 3 quarters. Bargnani had 23 points. Bosh had 26 and the Raptors lead 85-76.
A terrible start to the 4th quarter for the Raptors as Jermaine O'Neal hit the floor hard and grabbed his left knee. He would walk off the floor but if anything there was a lot of concern. It was the knee that Jermaine had issues with that he wears a brace on. Sean Williams would get a well deserved flagrant foul one. O'Neal was unable to make the free throws. He would check out of the game and head to the locker room. A lot of concern if you are a Raptor fan. But the Raps still had a game to win and the crowd had the life sucked out of it with the J.O injury. Will Solomon was playing terrible again in relief of Jose. The lead had been trimmed down to just 6 points.
Chris Bosh and Calderon would return. A rare Calderon turnover would lead to a basket and a foul. After being down 18 points the Nets were now down 86-85. Bosh would score off a Calderon feed. But Devin Harris like a blur would respond. Andrea Bargnani hit a big 3 point shot. Vince Carter was waiting to join the party and his Nets would score to make it 91-89. Jose Calderon would score before V.C would get a chance to get back in the game. Time out and V.C was coming back. Raptors fans would like to see J.O coming back but there was no sign of him.
Devin Harris would drive and score with ease out of the time out. A Bosh miss and Harris would score to tie it at 93. Both teams had several chances to take the lead. Chris Bosh would finally score and get fouled to but the Rapotrs back in from with the basket and one. A report from the locker room for J.O was a strained left knee and would be going for testing and would not return. Kris Humphries who would normally not be in there at this point took advantage of his extra floor time and score a big basket as the Raptors had run off 7 straight since New Jersey tied it at 93.
Carter would miss an ugly attempt for 3 points. But the Raptors could not take advantage and Devin Harris would drive to the hoop on the Nets next trip and get fouled and make both. Chris Bosh would get to the line thanks to a Vince Carter foul. He would make both. Brook Lopez scored for the Nets on the other end. But Jose Calderon made a big 3-ball in response on the other end. The score was 104-97 with less than 2 minutes to play. Calderon was fired up as the Nets would score only to see Jose drive and score to keep the Raptor lead at 7 points. The Nets would score and look to foul Jose Calderon but that is not what Lawerence Frank wanted. Jose would make the shots. Vince Carter would hit a big 3 pointer to give the Nets a little hope with 24.2 seconds left. Raptors had trouble getting the ball in it forced a time out and they still couldn't get it in and took a 5 second violation. New Jeresy would take advantage and score. Calderon was fouled and made both free throws. Vince Carter drove to the basket and scored. Parker would be fouled with 2.2 second left. He would miss the first free throw and he made the second. Jersey had the ball down 111-108 and one last chance. Vince Carter would catch the inbound pass and nail a very long 3 point shot and the game was tied. Raptors would have 0.5 seconds to try to avoid overtime. But that was a sick feeling to see V.C make that shot. The Raptor tried to get it to Moon for a tip in but it would fail. We were going to overtime and you had to feel the Nets had all the momentum.
The Raptors let this game slide away to the point that we were in overtime. Raptors would win the tap but they could not score as Bosh would mis-fire. Vince Carter would hit his shot. Chris Bosh on his second chance to score he would not miss. He would have it again after a Jersey miss and he would score and get the foul which he would make. Devin Harris would low by Jose and get his own basket and one and we were tied at 116-116. Andrea Bargnani would had been making big 3 pointers all night made another. Vince Carter would answer that with a long 2 pointer. Chris Bosh hit a big jump shot from on the corner of the box. The Nets would make a 3 pointer and it was all tied again at 121-121. Devin Harris would give the Nets the lead with under 50 seconds left in the first overtime.
Bargnani would miss a 3 pointer and Bosh could not get the rebound. New Jeresy would have Devin Harris sent to the line. He could only make 1-2 and the Raptors still had life down 3 with only 19 seconds left in the first overtime. Andrea Bargnani would get an open look to try and tie the game but he could not. New Jersey again would go 1-2 from the line. Raptors were down 4. Chris Bosh would not die as he hit a rare 3 pointer over Devin Harris. Nets at the line again 4 seconds on the clock they make both and the Raptors are down 3 with 4 seconds to play. The Raptors would look to Parkerville court and find A.P and he would hit the 3 pointer to tie the game with 2.1 seconds left in the first overtime. Vince Carter would kill the Raptors again on an alley opp of the inbound pass. The Raptors last chance desperation half court shot would not fall.
From an entertainment stand point this was a fantastic game. But from a Raptor fan perspective it was truly heart breaking. Bosh tied a career high with 42, Andrea Bargnani had a career high 29, but it was 5 of Vince Carter's 39 that was the difference. On top of all this you had J.O going for tests on the knee that had been the cause of all his problems prior to coming to Toronto. I could not imagine a worse case scenario for the Raptor Fans. The posts that are being made on fan boards at the moment will definitely be rated PG-13. After all of this The Raptors are 6-6 and I find it hard to believe that they can bounce back to score a win over the Celtics for a nice birthday present for the Dino Blogger. This was a very hard loss for the Toronto Raptors and their fans. For the details of how it happened check the boxscore below.
Raps and Nets Boxscore