DeRozan got off to a fast start with 4 points but he would also rack up two quick fouls and would grab an early seat in this one as Barbosa would check in for him. Joey Dorsey getting another start in place of Andrea and he would get a nice block early in this one. Barbosa would pick up where DeRozan left off and it was 6-3 Raptors in the opening moments of this one. Raptors were showing good fight in the paint as Amir Johnson was battling and another block for Dorsey. Houston has 0-7 from the field and trailed 10-3 as the Raptors were playing solid D as they had in Dallas. Calderon would add to that keeping his dribble and hooking up Dorsey for the easy score in the paint. Scola would get an easy 2 and it would lead to a mini Rockets run that would get them within one at 12-11. Dorsey would make way for Ed Davis as he took a charge to give him a seat on the bench with DeRozan. Calderon would hit a big 3 pointer to break the drought for the Raptors. After a Houston score it would be Amir Johnson with the rebound and put back and he had 7 early boards.
Julian Wright checked in and got his first shot rejected after a Houston empty trip he would get a redo and stick that corner jumper for 2. It would spark a run the Raptors that began with the score 17-16 for Toronto. Klezia, Davis, Calderon and Barbosa all would chip in on the 12-0 run and left the Raptors with 29-16 lead late in the first. Kevin Martin would finally stop the bleeding making a jumper. But another Barbosa jumper and Kleiza buzzer beater 3 ball would give the Raptors a surprising 34-20 lead after 1.
Brad Miller would lead the charge back for Houston as he was the biggest contributor to a 7-0 run to start the 2nd getting the Rockets back in this one. Linas Kleiza would end the run with a jumper from the top of the key. Brad Miller would respond with a basket to match that. Courtney Lee and Patrick Patterson would get in on the act as well. Lee corner 3 ball would make it a 16-5 run to start the 2nd quarter and the Raptors once 14 point lead was down to just 3. Amir Johnson would try to stop the bleeding with a score. But Brad Miller would answer once again with another hoop for him. A Rockets steal and easy score in transition had the lead to just 1. Raptors called a time out and Jerryd Bayless would not be back after it. He had looked to be struggling with that injured ankle and just couldn't solider through the pain.
Out of the time out DeRozan would nail a jumper and it was 43-40 Raptors still in front. Calderon pressed back into action would get a steal and hook up Kleiza on the break for an easy 2. Houston came right back and nailed a 3 pointer. DeRozan would drive and score and the Raptors were fighting to stay in front. But the Raptors were getting out battled on the boards as Patrick Patterson out battled Ed Davis for a board. It would lead to a Davis foul. Houston would go on to score not once but twice both times getting fouled on the made baskets. Houston Finally had the lead as it seemed almost inevitable that they would. But a Calderon 3 ball would tie the game at 50 with just 1:55 to play in the half. The Raptors would fall fast asleep to close the quarter. Houston was out battling them and it would lead to a 62-55 halftime lead for Rockets. Raptors gave up 12 in that final 2 minutes and 42 in Quarter. Just an awful 2nd quarter and a 21 point swing on the scoreboard from up 14 to down 7 at the half.
The Rockets bench had scored 35 points in that half and were the main reason that Rockets now had a lead. Martin would drive and score on Demar DeRozan and would also get fouled and make the and 1. DeRozan had no help on the play and got tagged with his 3rd foul but would remain in the game. Amir Johnson would get another offensive rebound and would score, which would give him 10 points and 10 boards, already a double double in the books early in the 3rd. Unfortunately as often happens with Amir not long after he would get tagged for his 4th foul and be forced out of the game. On offence the Raptors looked sloppy and disorganized. The Raptors couldn't buy a basket as Kleiza missed a jumper and Davis an easy chip shot on the rebound. Eventually DeRozan would finally end the drought with a basket. A Houston turnover would lead to another score for DeRozan in transition. Raps were struggling to score but DeRozan was single handedly keeping them in it. Off a Dorsey block DeRozan would get blocked himself but got the ball back and put through on the second chance. But Houston through half the quarter still had their 7 point halftime lead with score 71-64 Raptors with 5:50 to play in 3rd.
Raptors fail to box out and it leads to the easy tap back score for Scola. Hill would hit over Kleiza and that would make it a 10 point Houston lead. But DeRozan once again would get it done with the hoop and harm and he had 11 points in the quarter and 19 for the game. He would drive and get fouled going to the line for 2 making both. Despite all the DeRozan heroics the Raps by the end of the 3rd Quarter were down 2 more than they were at the half. Houston would take a 84-75 lead to the final quarter.
Raptors were shooting a pathetic 39% percent heading into the 4th Quarter and Houston was shooting 48%. Amir Johnson would get an early score and 1 but quickly picked up his 5th foul not long after. Houston built their lead to 11 and you had no sense the Raptors had a run in them or more important to the defence to get stops. Calderon got a 3 but Budinger had the answer with a 3 of his own and he had 18 off the bench to that point. That really was it except for Demar DeRozan going off in the 4th and his point total climbed and grew. But the Raptors could not get the stops for it to matter. DeRozan had a look at 3 near end of the game that would have given him 40. He would have to settle for a career high 37. But it would come in a loss as Houston was just to good for the Raptors to be able to stop after the first quarter. In the end it was a 114-105 score in favour of Houston. Raps take the loss and return home to face the Celtics for a short pit stop only to head back out on the road.
Sorry I am getting this to you folks late but I have been feeling under the weather with a cold and had to do some work for The Score today with Outback Bowl. Starting to feel better though and I will be Live Blogging Boston and Toronto tomorrow for The Score with a rare 6 pm tip time on Sunday.