The Raptor team bus got into a fender bender on route to the arena. It has been that type of year. But everyone was o.k and they did make it to the arena in one piece and on time. So with everyone aside from the bus driver accounted for it was time to play some basketball.
Nets had an empty trip after winning the tip. Raptors were able to score on their first chance of the night. Same starting line-up as it was versus the Pacers. No Parker or Hump as well. Parker an Ankle and Hump a knee. Chris Bosh made a basket over Yi. Raps had an early 4-0 lead till Devin Harris turned on the jets going past Calderon for the score. Bosh would respond with a Jam. Jamario Moon and Jose Calderon missed wide open lay-ups. Nets would make a 3-ball and were 3-3 after a 0-5 shooting start. This game was not looking like an NBA classic to this point. Carter triend to hook up Yi Jianlian for ally opp that turned into an opps as Yi would miss fire and fall to the floor.
Bosh would be fouled and sent to the line and he would put the Raptors in front agin 10-9. He would later hit a jumper and it was now 12-9 for the men in red. The Nets would fire back and it was Yi for three to give the Nets a 14-12 lead. Yi would later leave as he picked up his second foul going over the back of Bosh. Jason Kapono would hook up Jamario Moon with the alley opp. Jose Calderon followed that up with a 3 pointer. Raptors had a 17-14 lead. Joey Graham had checked in for Toronto and got to the line. It was 19-14 and the Raptors had a 7-0 run. But even better news would come moments later. Vince Carter was left in the game with 2 fouls and he would get tagged with a charge giving him 3 fouls in the first quarter and he would now have to sit. A couple blocks for Andrea Bargnani would lead to a net shot clock violation. Chris Bosh would take that next offensive chance and score the bucket and plus the foul. Raptors had a 22-14 lead. Jamario Moon showing the things we liked from last year with a steal. He would turn that into an easy chance to score for Joey G which he would cash in on. Nets would manufacture 4 points to close out the quarter. Raptors still had a 24-18 lead after 1 quarter of play.
The Nets only shot 27% in the first quarter but only trailed by 6 points. Devin Harris found a mis-match with Joey Graham guarding him he would blow by and get fouled. But he could only hit 1 of 2 from the line. Keyon Dooling would make it a 6-0 run to start the quarter and the score was tied at 24. J.O would get to the line and bust up the Nets run. Raptors had missed a lot of easy looks in this game. You had to wonder if they would regret that later on in the evening.
Jay Triano had a game plan to deal with Devin Harris. He was matching up the more athletic wings to draw that assignment. It has having some impact as the Nets only had 6 points in the paint to this point. But the offence had gone cold for Toronto and the Nets thanks to work on offensive glass had a 30-28 lead. Lawerence Frank decided to roll the dice and sent V.C back in the game with 3 fouls. But there was some debate about that as the offical score sheet had him with 2 fouls. If I didn't know better I'd say we were in Atlanta. The crowd is about the same size and energy level. The foul is dispute was given to Brook Lopez and not V.C. So with that matter put to bed the Nets had a 34-30 lead with Vince on the floor. Chris Bosh would get a basket and cut that lead in half. He blew by Yi who leads him in all star voting as I talked about in the morning blog. Bosh must have heard about the voting as well. He scored again and he had 15 making a statement. Jamario Moon would score off a turnover not once but twice and the Raptors had a 38-34 lead. Joey Graham broke out with the highlight reel dunk and the Raptors were rolling they were on a 10-0 run. Nets would get one last chance to break the Raptor run but could not. So the Raptors took a 40-34 lead into the halftime break.
Under Jay Triano the Raptors looked much different against the Nets. They held New Jersey to 27% shooting and Vince Carter was 0-6 from the field. Chris Bosh was continuing his effort to get to the basket and was heading back to the line. He would only make 1-2. Bobby Simmons on the other end would hit a 3 pointer. The lead was cut to just 3 points but Jamario Moon would score to extend that to 5 with a basket. Jason Kapono after a great night against the Pacers. He was only 1-9 on the night. He need some of luck that Jose Calderon. He fired up a 3-ball that would take it's time before passing through the hoop.
Vince Carter continued to struggle as he was now 0-9 on the night from the field. Jermaine O'Neal would get a basket plus a foul and the Raptors had a 9 point advantage up 51-42. Raptors were making things happen on defense as that was the starting point for the more running attack the Triano has wanted to see. Joey Graham would get to the line off on off those turnovers and make a pair. Another turnover and the cold Jason Kapono would get a little heat going with a huge 3 pointer and the Raptors had their largest lead of the night of 14 points. Devin Harris was the focus of the Raptor defense and he was frustrated. He would pick up a tech and the would add to the lead making it 15 with the score 57-42.
The Nets would run off 5 straight points and cut the lead down to 10. Andrea Bargnani who had been good on defense but not on offense. He was able to get to the line. He would make the shots. On the next trip he would get on the offensive glass and score. Jason Kapono another 3-ball he would make that was two in a row for him. The Raptors were looking impressive with a 64-50 lead in the late stages of the third quarter. Vince continued to struggle as he was 0-10 from the field. Make that 0-11 for Carter. He would also pick up his 4th foul. He and his Nets were down 16 with the score 66-50 for the Raptors. Raptors would build on that and make it an 18 point advantage. Jamario Moon who had a career high 5 steals was getting looked at on the bench. He seemed to have some issue with his ribs. But meanwhilt the Raptors had a 71-52 lead. The Nets would add a free throw but it was still a massive 18 point lead heading into the 4th quarter.
Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon were on the bench and were not going to be needed. Why you ask? Because Jason Kapono had found his shot and he would start the fire in the quarter. Along with that shooting they were playing tough defense. The Raptors had built up an 88- 60 lead. They refused to let Devin Harris and Vince Carter beat them. Vince still was without a field goal. He was looking for a dunk and instead he would get sent to the line by J.O. Even a person who is not a big basketball fan could see the difference in the Triano game plan as opposed to the Mitchell game plan against these same Nets just about 3 weeks earlier. I had talked about not seeing the Raptors play a complete 48 minute thus far this season. But tonight with 6 minutes to go we were on the way to doing just that.
Only one negative for the Raptors was that it looked like Jamario Moon was injured to what extent is not clear. But they had wrap put on him just below his arm pit. He had been playing well prior to the injury. We will have to wait and see. The Raptors meantime had a 92-62 lead on the floor with over 4 minutes to play. Joey Graham was enjoying the Jay Triano era as he had double figures now in 6 straight games.Graham would end this game with an explanation point dunk as the Raptors win 101-79
Raptors held Nets to just 31% shooting highlighted by an 0-13 shooting night for Vince Carter. After one of his better games in his career in Toronto last time this was one of Vince's worst of his 11 years in the NBA. So the Raptors have now won 2 in a row under Jay Triano.