Notebook: Raptors 103, Rockets 96

Posted Dec 16, 2012 5:17 PM

Duane Watson, for

THE FACTS: The Toronto Raptors (6-19) won their second game in a row, defeating the Houston Rockets (11-12) 103-96 on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are now an even 5-5 at home and were led by Jose Calderon's second career triple-double of 17 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. A strong Raptors bench outscored Houston's 49-23, Alan Anderson led the reserves, tying a career-high of 24 points. DeMar DeRozan's 19 points and Ed Davis' 13 rounded out the other key scorers.

After a sea-saw first half with both teams tied at 49 and shooting the long ball liberally, the Raptors took a narrow lead with Davis' 13 point third quarter, stretching the margin to 77-71.

The Raptors returned to what made them successful last season, playing strong defense, outscoring the Rockets in the second half 54-47 and holding them to .410 percent shooting from the field for the entire game.

The Rockets suffered their seventh sent straight road loss and were paced by James Harden's game-high 28 points. Marcus Morris starting in place of the injured Patrick Patterson scored a career-high 19, while Chandler Parsons scored 12.

QUOTABLE: "We've been missing him. He's a tough guy, he can play defense, he can score the ball, I don't think people realize how good of a player he is. He's a really big help for us."
-- Raptors guard Calderon on Anderson.

THE STAT: Free throws, the Rockets lived at the line, taking 32 attempts to the Raptors 17. Houston shot .781 while Toronto shot .850. Harden alone went 14-for-15 from the charity stripe.

TURNING POINT: With a game that was contested almost from start to finish, the change came with the score 97-95 and 13.9 left in the fourth quarter, Anderson went to the free throw line for two shots and coolly drained them giving the Raptors a 99-95 point lead, which eventually sealed the game for the home team.

QUOTABLE II: "The key was we did not turn the ball over. Our guys did a good job adjusting and running them off the three-point line. It is a team win. Everyone that walked on the floor shared the ball, we had 29 assists."
-- Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey.

HOT: Calderon again stepped in filling in for the injured Kyle Lowry with his second career triple-double of 17 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds and 0 turnovers. He shot 6-for-12 from the floor and a perfect 5-for-6 from the free throw line,

NOT: Jeremy Lin couldn't get it going, with some heavy defensive pressure, shooting 3-for-9 from the field, netting 7 points, 3 turnovers, 3 steals and 2 assists.

GOOD MOVE: Harden was relentless attaching the basket, either converting or sent to the free throw line. He took what the defense gave him, making 14 of his15 attempts from the free throw line and 28 points for the game.

NOTABLE: The Raptors have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Raptors blocked a season-high 13 shots. Houston has now lost 9 of it's last 10 games in Toronto. Patrick Patterson was out of the Rockets line-up with a bone bruise in his right ankle. The Raptors are still without Kyle Lowry (tricep) Andrea Bargnani (wrist and Landry Fields (wrist) due to injury.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Tuesday @ Cleveland, Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. Orlando. For the Timberwolves; Monday @ New York, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia and Friday vs. Memphis.