3/19/11

Bargnani and DeRozan Go Off On The Wiz

It is not very often you can say this season the Raptor fans can go into a game expecting a win. But on this night in Toronto, you had every reason to feel that way with a banged up Wizards squad, that has just 1 road victory on the season in Cleveland. Raptors can relate to Wizards road struggles as they themselves have lost 14 in a row on the road the latest coming at the hands of the Pistons. But at the ACC they have been more respectable coming into last night 13-22 at home. Ok, more respectable in comparison to 5-27 on the road. If this was a college game, these are two teams that would not even make the NIT. But Raptors with a tough 5 game western road trip in front of them, starting in OKC on Sunday, really needed a win here from moral if nothing else. Amir Johnson would be back in line-up starting and wear those ugly green things again and even The Raptor was green it was scary.

Game started with a James Johnson block on John Wall but the Wizards would score off the block. Raps would get the next two buckets and Amir Johnson from James Johnson hooked up for the Amir slam. Wizards were getting in the paint and getting some easy baskets a couple McGee slams and it was 8-5. DeRozan jumper from mid range is money and it was 8-7. Amir Johnson would draw Raptors level at 10 playing with some fire early but it would eventually fade as Amir still was not at 100%. DeRozan had an early 7 points and the game was still even at 17. James Johnson as has been the book on him since joining the Raptors off to a fast start driving down the heart of the lane and giving the Raptors a 19-17 lead. Bargnani would nail a three and it was 22-19. This would be followed by a DeRozan drive score and 1 giving the Raptors a 27-21 advantage. Raptors woul maintain that 6 point lead and shot 68.8% to have a 33-27 lead. Bargnani had 12 and DeRozan 10 combining for 22 of that 33 for the Raptors.

Reserves were in the game for the Raps and Reggie to Bayless in a little roll reversal. Ed Davis coming off the bench gets a hoop. Raps a sloppy turnover and John Wall runs away from the pack and gets a slam. Another turnover and Wall passes this one ahead for the easy score and Wiz were with in 4. It would get worse as the turnovers would continue and The Wizards would take the lead at the line 39-37. Wizards were on a serious run 6-6 in the quarter and leading 43-37 time out required from Jay Triano. Wizards were outscoring the Raptors 13-4 in the early going of the second quarter. Defence was not exactly a strength for either side and it was showing. Jose a three in front of the bench out of the time out and Raptors needed that. Calderon sparked the come back he missed a lay up but DeRozan was there for the finish he later would stick a jumper and Raptors were on a 9-0 run out of time out and back in the lead. DeRozan was now heating up and getting out and running he gets a layup and was fouled and Raptors once down 6 got on a 19-2 run and led 56-45 since the time out. Whatever Jay Triano said he should bottle it and use it again. After the game he was asked about what he said but said he could not recall what he actually said. Wizards finally got back on track and cut the lead back down to just 5 at 58-53. Raptors got basket then with 4.3 seconds called a time out and a nice play for Barbosa who got to show off his speed, as he got the score and drew a blocking foul. He missed the and 1 free throw and Raptors would settle for a 62-53 halftime lead.

Raptors shooting percentage dipped slightly to 58% but that is still pretty good. But 10 turnovers for the Raptors for 16 Wizard points so you could argue the Raptors should have been up my more. three guys were doing most of the work for the Raptors, Calderon, Bargnani and DeRozan. Jose would find Demar on the break for the easy lay in. But the Wizards got it back to 5 points again. But then Bargnani would hit for 2 sparking the Raptors again to a little push. Both he and DeRozan had 20 a piece in this one. A Reggie Evans dunk and Wizards needed to re-group down 68-59. Stopping DeRozan and Bargnani would be a topic of time out for sure. But whatever was said was not working as DeRozan had 2 straight jumpers and was shooting lights out. Raptors led 72-61 and were rolling. Wizards get some good fortune as Raptors got a questionable call as they were called of inbounding the ball incorrectly. But nothing seemed to phase the Raptors as the built back their 11 point advantage thanks to Andera Bargnani and James Johnson hoops making it 80-69. Bargnani stroked another three later on and that would be the 500th of his career 54 back of Vince Carter on the Raptors all time list. DeRozan and Bargnani had a combined 56 points and led 87-75 late in the 3rd. It would end up 88-77 Raptors in the lead after 3. Samuel L Jackson was taking in this one, I think Raptors won when Drake was in the house as well. Maybe you need to invite some stars to get Raptors to win. Whatever it was the Raptors were playing like a well oiled machine on offence.

Barbosa stuck a 3 in the early going of the 4th and Raptors looking to have everything in control. But we have seen this before a Raptor game is never over till it's over right? That being said Barbosa another 3 and Raptors were up 13 with just under 9 to play leading 96-83. Raptors were doing a solid job keeping the lead so far. That was what they call fore shadowing as the Wizards once down 13 in quarter had chopped lead all the way down to just 2 points with score 98-96 and some Boos rained out at the ACC. Just 3 minutes left and like a big seed in March Madness the Raptors were just looking to hang on for the win. Kind of like Texas did earlier in the day with Tristan Thompson and Cory Joesph and Longhorns hanging on for the 85-81 win over Oakland. Raps were up by same margin 102-98. A free throw contest down the stretch helped the Raptors get lead up to 106-99. A Jose Calderon three ball would pretty much ice this one. Raptors had a 10 point lead and would hang on from there for a 116-107 win. Bargnani and DeRozan a combined 63 points and a big win for the Raptors. Face it this season any win is big.

Bargnani had 33 and DeRozan 30 while Jose Calderon did a solid job running the show with 17 points, 6 assists and a couple steals. Here is some thoughts from Demar on his night from everything from how he played to Samuel L Jackson declaring Demar his favourite all-time Raptor. Think he wanted to say Vince Carter but he knew he was in Toronto. Still DeRozan is getting respect and fans by leaps and bounds this year and having the endorsement of Mr.Jackson helps but his game is doing more to make the case this season. So here are the post game thoughts of Demar DeRozan.





That was definitely Demar DeRozan, and I definitely talked to him pre-game and you will definitely come back and listen right? Definitely, Demar DeRozan is improving and taking major strides. When he and Bargnani both have their games rolling it definitely HELPS!!!

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