A good start... Raps win the tip and Jose a quick blow by on Arenas and a score. Teams traded baskets early on and the Raps had 6-4 lead. Ill advised 3 from Jamison and Demar jacks up an equally ill advised jumper that ends up as an air ball. Bosh fumbles the ball away and leads to Arenas getting fouled in transition and converting on 2 at the line for Wizards first lead at 8-6. Arenas hit a jumper to extend that lead after a Demar miss off a drive. Bosh off to a slow start misses a jumper at the top of the key. Raptors have come out kind of sluggish and it is 10-10 as Calderon scores to tie it. Bosh commits a turnover as Haywood was doing a solid job on Bosh down low.
Caron Butler hits and the Wiz were off to a 16-12 lead with 4 to play in the Quarter. Bosh gets an early hook with 4 minutes to go in the first quarter. Arenas did not like a non call and helps out the Raps by getting a tech. Jose would drive and score and get fouled. Raps had cut the lead to 17-15. The Raps were looking like anything but the desperate team they should be. About the only Raptor bringing it early on was Jose Calderon. Marco Belinelli is really hit or miss and so far tonight it is miss. Andrea his fellow mate for Italy hit a big 3 to get the Raps back to within 1 at 19-18. This was a pretty sad quarter of basketball on both sides. Jack with a nice finish in transition to give the Raps a 1 point lead...but a offensive putback at the buzzer would give the Wizards a 25-24 lead.
Raps shooting a terrible 37% from the field. Not exactly blazing the nets at the ACC. Jamison drives and draws a foul on Amir Johnson. He was a Raptor for like 30 minutes shame it wasn't longer. Hedo did not score in the first and finally scored in the second to tie it up at 26. Bosh also had not scored and he was able to get a score with no Haywood on the floor. Bosh would score again after getting a foul call that he did not agree with. Raptors lead 30-26 and better late than never showing some signs of life. Bosh was fouled on that last bucket and makes the and 1. Gilbert Arenas gets his 3 the new fashion way from behind the arc. Butler would hit a 3 as well and lead was just 1. Hedo a miss from 3 but a great effort from Amir Johnson to get offensive rebound and hooked up Bosh for the easy 2.
Raps were showing signs of life and energy and is being rewarded with a 37-32 lead. Again Amir Johnson with the hustle and CB4 with the finish. Somewhere... Tom Liston head of the FREE AMIR movement is a happy man at the ACC. Amir Johnson had sparked this team to a more spirited effort in this second quarter. Marco Belinelli finally got on track with a 3...Arenas answered with one of his own. Make that 2 of his own as was the Hibachi heating up? Wiz had the lead down to just 1. Raps would get a basket and a 3rd straight 3 ball and the Wiz had tied it at 43 with under 5 to play in the half. Washington had grabbed the momentum and taken the lead with 3:20 to go in the quarter leading 47-46. Bosh a bad miss for the corner after what had been a strong bounce back quarter for him. But the next trip a Hedo offensive board would lead to a dime drop to Bargnani for a slam. Nick Young would quickly answer and the Wizards were back on top 51-50. Raps would re-take the lead and a sloppy play by them would give the Wizards a chance to take it back to close the half. Earl Boykins would hit a basket that was bigger than him to give the Wizards a 55-54 lead. What a terrible half of basketball. If these teams want to see why their records are what they are...watch a tape of this half.
Bosh had 18 points after a 0 for 6 in the first quarter. Raps % was as a team on the rise as well at 44%. But they still trailed on the scoreboard by one and Wiz had a stretch of 3 balls that made you scared for what may come. Haywood getting on the offensive glass and scoring on Wizards first trip. While the Raps commit a turnover but the Wiz do not make them pay for it. Another Raps turnover and again Wiz fail to make them pay. Calderon hits a 3 and makes the Wiz pay and the score is tied. Hedo makes it back to back 3's as the Wiz had scored to re-take the lead. Demar called for a travel and Raps had 3 early turnovers and Wizards fail to get points on any of them.
Jose would get a drive and score and he had 18 and Wiz were failing to cash in on Raps mistakes. Derozan a nice block but Haywood would get a score and was fouled...but did not make the and 1. Raptors lead 64-63 hanging around so far in the 3rd. Bargnani hit a nice 3 to extend the Raps lead to 4 points. Brendan Haywood is far from an all-star but the Raps were doing a good job making him look like one. His hustle and effort on the glass was keeping the Wizards in it. In fact he got them back to level at 67. Jose would get his lunch money and the ball taken away by Butler and he would draw the foul on the other end and give the Wizards the lead. Bargs with a nice little lay up and the lead was just 1. Earl Boykins the little man with another key hoop extends lead back to 3. It was a case of both teams not being good enough to get any distance from the other. Raps had fought back to tie it at 72. Marco Belinelli with a big 3 from the corner to give the Raps a lead. Raps got a little surge to close the Quarter and had a 77-72 lead to take to the 4th.
Raptors actually closed that quarter on an 8-0 run. Bosh would nail a jumper to start the 4th and after his slow start he had 22 points and 10 boards. Wizards answer with a 3 and the lead was 4. Bosh missed a jumper and Wizards had Belinelli save one right to them for the easy basket. Jarrett Jack would hit a timely 3 ball to give Raps an 82-77 lead. But with the good there was also bad later as Jack threw a risky cross court pass that was picked. Raptors were hanging on leading 83-79. Wizards would get a basket from Gilbert Arenas and the Hibachi warms, had a couple scores and one an old fashion 3 point play and the Wizards re-took the lead 86-85. While that Hibachi was warming the Raps offense was in the freezer.
Boykins may be small but has been big in the past vs T.O. He gets another key hoop to extend Wizards lead to 88-85. Arenas a drive and score out of a time out and this was a serious gut check time for the Raptors. Butler drove to the hoop and CB4 took the hit and the charge. Raps were down 4 and Calderon drove and scored and cut the lead in half. But Jamison got a big basket to answer and he had 29. Bosh would get blocked by Haywood and time was slipping away on the Raptors with under 3 to play. Raps were not able to get past Haywood who was blocking shots and give Raps headaches as Wiz lead 97-91...under 2 to play. Jack with a big 3 cut the lead in half. But Raps get burned for an easy basket as Bargnani was standing like a statue on D. Time to send Bargs to the bench. Which Triano did but I am not talking just this game. Amir has an instant impact getting a rebound as he checked in. Jack would get fouled and make a pair and the lead was just 99-97. Wizards would draw a foul and make both to bring lead back to 4. A Hedo turnover would seal this one up for the Wiz it would seem. just under 30 seconds to go and the Wiz lead 102-97. Jack was not throwing in the towel though he drove and scored and it was 102-99. Jack had 14 points in the 4th. But the Wizards would make foul shots and win this one. The fans at the ACC also get a thumbs down for cheering for pizza on what was a score that meant nothing. Hedo was clutch for the Pizza hitting the 3 but not when it mattered. Raps lose 106-102.
I will have thoughts on this tomorrow. I have to dash off for a game with the Heat and Blazers for The Score. Come drop by and say hello if you like. Here is a link.