Raptors Rewind- Play Like It's 1997 Edition

Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby were in the line-up the last time the Raptors got a win in the California Capitol City. 1997 was a long time ago for sure. But the home of the Kings is not what it use to be. Mike Bibby is a Hawk. Chris Webber is working for NBA TV and TNT. The Kings teams of the early 2000's are no more. They like the Raptors have made a coaching change. The impact of that has not been much. They are 1-4 since Reggie Theus of acting fame as well as basketball fame has been gone. He is not getting anymore hang time in Sacramento. The Kings are also without their young star in Kevin Martin as well. When you look ahead to tomorrow night this makes tonight's game that much more important. The Raptors next game is against the Portland Trailblazers a team which the Raptors know already are the real deal. The Blazers earlier this month visited the ACC and came away with a win. So the Raptors need to get this win tonight. Chris Bosh broke out of a bit of a slump with a big time performance against the Clippers. So the mission is to get out of California with a win. They may just want to regardless as there was a minor earthquake in the area.

1st Quarter

Raptors win the opening tip but a Chris Bosh jumper would not fall. Garcia on the other end would hit a 3 pointer for the Kings. The Raptors would go right back to Bosh on the inside and he would score. Kings would miss on a couple of chances on the offensive end. Bosh would again head to the hoop and this time get fouled. He would make 1-2 from the line and Raptors would get a steal and slam from Jamario Moon who will not be doing that at the All Star Weekend this year. The Kings would tie it up and then Udrih would hit a 3 pointer to give the Kings an early 8-5 lead. But Jose Calderon would find J.O and he would score down low. Jamario Moon would get to the line and make a pair to reclaim the lead. The Kings would score but Jason Kapono would answer that with a 3 pointer with the wide open look. Raptors were now leading 12-10 early on.

Jermaine O'Neal would get the pass in a crowd but would score anyway. He would get another basket in the paint and the Raptors had built a 5 point lead of 16-11, with a time out on the floor with 5:36 to play in quarter. Out of the time out Garcia would hit his second 3 pointer of the night. Chris Bosh would respond on the other end and get to the line making both. Raptors would get another basket to extend the lead to 7 points. Brad Miller would make a jumper to get the Kings a little closer. He would get to the line and pull the Kings back to down 21-18. John Salmons would get to the line and make a pair for his first points of the night. He would follow that up with a jump shot and the Kings were on 8-0 run and back in the lead 22-21. Andrea Bargnani would get a pass in the paint and throw down a slam with an and 1 that he would miss. John Salmons after a quiet start had the last 6 points for the Kings. Bargnani would be down low again and draw the foul and get to the line and make both. Chris Bosh would get called for traveling the 5th turnover of the quarter for the Raptors. The Kings would give it back with a 3 second violation and they had not score a point off any of the Raptor miscues. Jose Calderon would make the Kings pay for there mistake with a jumper. Andrea Bargnani would get a 3-ball the next time up the floor for the Raptor he had 7 points early. The Raptors would take a 30-26 lead into the second quarter.

2nd Quarter

Raptors shot a blazing 61% in the 1st but only had a 4 point lead to show for it. Sacramento would fail to find the hoop on their opening trip of the quarter. Jermaine O'Neal on Raptors first trip would have a one haded throw down. Bobby Jackson was left wide open but would have his foot on the line and end up with a very long 2 pointer. Jackson would get a second chance from long range on next trip and this time would get the 3 pointer. The Kings had pulled back to down just 1 with the score 32-31. Anthony Parker would get to the line and with family looking on he would only get 1-2. Candace Parker, the WNBA star was in the crowd to watch her brother and her husband Sheldon Williams who plays for the Kings. Garcia would make a long jumper and this game was tied at 33 with a time out on the floor.

Jermaine O'Neal would miss a jumper out of the time out over the rookie Thomson from Rider. The Kings would run off 5 straight points. Will Solomon would get a very long 2 pointer. He would then run a pick and roll with J.O that would lead to a jam for J.O. Brad Miller would get an open jumper and the Kings would have a 3 point advantage with the score 42-39. J.O would take it to Spenser Hawes in the paint and he had 14 points on the night to the lead the Raptors. A Bosh pass for O'Neal would end up in a turnover and a sore hand for Jermaine O'Neal. Sacramento would score it in transition. Another turnover from O'Neal and two more points for the Kings. Jermaine O'Neal had perhaps jammed his ring finger but remained in the game. They had 13 turnovers and the Kings after not making them pay for it early, now were and had a 48-41 lead as a result. Chris Bosh would get fouled taking a jumper and he would head to the line. He would miss the first and make the second. Brad Miller would hit that same jumper he had made a couple time already. Jason Kapono would get a 3-ball out of a broken play scenario on an offensive rebound. Chris Bosh would sit down late in the quarter picking up his 3rd foul of the night. Jose Calderon would continue his perfection from the line hitting 61 and 62 on the year. But Kings to remained in the lead but J.O would score again in the paint cutting the lead down to 4 points now at 53-49. Jason Kapono would get to the line and he would make a pair. John Salmons out of a time out would drive to the hoop and score and get the foul on Jamario Moon as well which he would make. Raptors would almost fittingly fumble their last possession out of bounds and the clock expired for the half. Kings had a 56-51 lead to defend in the second half.

3rd Quarter

Raptors were costing themselves as much as anything. They were shooting 51% and Bosh and O'Neal had combined for 25 points. Spencer Hawes would open the half with a 3 pointer. The Kings as brutal as they are when leading at the half are a perfect 5-0. But Jason Kapono may not know that stat as he would score a basket for the Raptors. Jermaine O'Neal was having a great night as he scored plus a foul that he would make. Raptors now trailed 59-56. Chris Bosh would miss a simple lay-up but Jose Calderon would cover up for that getting the rebound and putting it back up and in for the Raptors. So the Raptors had quickly turned around an 8 point King lead to just a one point lead. The Kings after that opening three pointer had struggled. The Raptors had a chance to take the lead but would not and John Salmons would hit a little fading jumper in the paint. Jose Calderon was back at the line and continued to be perfect from the line. He would then make a jumper to push the Raptors back into the lead 62-61.

Chris Bosh would make a jumper and he was in double figures with 11 points on the night. The Raptors would continue to press and Bosh would find O'Neal inside and he would get fouled and head to the line. He would only make 1-2 and the Raptor lead was 4 with the score 65-61. Jose Calderon was starting to look for his shot as he made another jumper. Bobby Jackson would respond with a 3 pointer for Sacramento. Udrih would get another 3-ball and the Raptor lead was now just 67-66. Chris Bosh would make his way to the line to make a pair. Udrih would make a two pointer this time with the mid-range jumper from the corner. J.O would answer that with a spin and score plus a foul that he would make. Raptors would lead 72-68 as they were holding off a Kings push. Jermaine O'Neal had 23 points so far and was looking as good as he has in that red number six jersey. Bosh missed a fading jumper but J.O would pick up the trash and deliver a score for the Raptors. The Kings were refusing to go away as the came back with a basket. Jason Thompson would get fouled and heading to the line out of a time out. He would make both and it was now 74-73. Bosh was on the bench watching as he had picked up his 4th foul earlier on an illegal pick. He would like what he saw as J.O would score points 26 and 27 on the night. Bosh's replacement Andrea Bargnani would get to the line and make a pair. He would later make a jumper in response to a Kings score. He would follow that up with a 3-ball and this was the Andrea people wanted to see. Bobby Brown the basketball player had a 3 to answer for the Kings. Bobby Jackson had his foot on the line and make a long 2 pointer to end the quarter. But the Raptors still had a 3 point lead to take with them into the final quarter of 85-82. Raptors outscored the Kings 34-26 in the quarter.

4th Quarter

The Raptors were shooting the lights out at Arco with an amazing 55% from the field. Kris Humphries was getting a little bit of time with Bosh with 4 fouls. He would drive and get to the line but he would miss both. But Humphries would make up for it with a follow up jam on a Bargnani miss. Raptor lead was 88-82 with 9:42 to play. A.P with Candace in the house would show his skills with a fading jumper.Will Solomon would then hook up Joey Graham for the jam. The Raptors reserves were getting it done. The Raptors had their largest lead of the night with score 92-83. John Salmons would score to cut that lead to 7 points. Andrea Bargnani would get called for a travel and turn it over. The lead was cut back to just 5 points and that would prompt Jay Triano to bring back the starters. But before Bosh could get back in the Kings got a 3 pointer. However Joey Graham would respond with a blow by reverse side jam. Bosh enter back in only to exit right away picking up his 5th foul on the evening. Bosh would have to watch some more as his team had a 94-91 lead.

Jermaine O'Neal was picking up the slack and he was back at the line he would split a pair and the Raptor lead was 95-91. Brad Miller would score in the paint to cut that lead in half. He would then go back to that bread and butter mid range jumper and the score was tied at 94. J.O would respond with a one handed jam and he had 30 points the most he has had as a Raptor. Jermaine O'Neal was not stopping at 30 as he would score again on a drive with a running baby hook shot. Raptors would lead 99-95 approaching 3 minutes left to play in the quarter.

Bosh would return to the game with his 5 fouls. Anthony Parker who had missed a few would make a big bucket for the Raptors late. The Kings would respond with a basket. Raptors had a 101-97 lead with 1:17 left to play in regulation time. Jermaine O'Neal would score out of a time out and the lead was now 6 points with less then a minute to play. Brad Miller would get to the line and make both to pull the Kings to back down 4. Bosh would have a shot blocked and the Kings would come up with the ball and call a time out looking to set up a play for a very key trip for them on the offensive end. 29.2 seconds to play and J.O would get a steal off John Salmons and Raptors had the ball and called for time. The Kings would have to foul but the Raptors would be able to kill about 3 seconds off the clock and get the ball in hands of Calderon. He continued to remain perfect on the season and the had a 105-99 lead. It would take something truly strange for the Raptors to lose this game with 18.3 seconds. Garcia would miss a 3 pointer and that would be it as J.O would get the rebound and be fouled and head to the line. He would make both and he had 36 points. If you belief in fate the last time the Raptors won back in 1997 Damon Stoudamire had 36 points to lead the Raptors in scoring for their only other win at Arco Arena in their history. The final score was 107-101 for the Raptors. The Raptors shot a truly impressive 55% from the field. The impressive Raptor boxscore below.

Raps/Kings Boxscore

The Raptors had only their second win all-time in Sactown. But the good news did not end there. The Atlantic Division has gone 0 for beyond the Raptors. Allowing the Raptors to pick up a game on the field in the Division. The most shocking the Celtics coming off a Christmas Day loss to Kobe would loss to the 8 win Warriors who will face the Raptors on Monday.

Your Atlantic Division Score Board

Minnesota 120
New York 107

Charlotte 95
New Jersey 87

Philly 101
Denver 105

Golden State 99
Boston 89

So that is some good news for the Raptors and they will fly off to Portland looking for some revenge of a tough loss to the Blazers earlier this month. The Blazers are coming off a loss the the Mavs at home on Christmas Day. But if the Warriors can beat the Celtics truly anything is possible. This may also say something about that loss to the Thunder. Even the best team in the league can stub it's collective toe against a bad team every now and then. So everything that could go right for the Raptors on this night did go right.


  1. Heres a suggestion. Trade the whole team away except for JERMAINE THE STUD and Jose.

    Make sense? Blow the team up and build again. Get huge prospects and role players for Bosh. Trade AP and Kapono for some more offensive help. Bargs= gone.

    I should be a GM.

  2. LOL, Isn't that ever fans dream to be the G.M. I personally think being a G.M in pro sports is a tough job and will stick to commenting on what they do.

    I am not thinking this team is going to be built around J.O. It is still Chris Bosh's team and I don't expect that to change. But J.O had a great night and has been on a good role of late. Bargnani did have a rare good night but I would not be against making a deal.

    As for the guy that has the job. Bryan Colangelo has said the only guy not up for trade talk is CB4.