THE FACTS: The Toronto Raptors (17-30) jumped out early on the Los Angeles Clippers (34-14) with a 16-point lead at halftime and extended it to as much as 31 points before beating them 98-73 at sold out Air Canada Centre on Friday night. The Raptors snapped a three-game losing streak with the debut of recently acquired Rudy Gay who came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points in his Raptor debut.
The Raptors challenged the Clippers defensively, and held the Clippers to .347 percent shooting from the field (25-72) and went on a 17-2 run into halftime up 46-30. Toronto closed out the third quarter in similar fashion on a 13-4 run, to give them a 27-point lead with the score 72-45. Despite the Clippers playing their best quarter scoring 28 in the fourth, the game was well out of reach.
For the Raptors, Amir Johnson had a double-double of 19 point and tied a career-high 16 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan added 19 points and seven assists. John Lucas added 17 points off the bench on 5-for-7 shooting from the 3-point line.
The Clippers scored a season-low 73 points, and were led by Blake Griffin's 17 points and nine rebounds, Jamal Crawford added 14 points off the bench.
QUOTABLE: "It was just good to get a win, get out there and play basketball. It's been so many other things going on, this was my first time actually having to go through it. It just felt good."
-- Raptors forward Gay.
THE STAT: The Raptors shot well from the field (.469 percent) but shot just as potently from the three-point line at .462 percent on 12-for-26 shooting. Any point the Clippers challenged in the game, a Raptors three-point basket broke their momentum.
TURNING POINT: The Raptors outscored the Clippers 24-13 in the second quarter and ended the half on a 17-2 run. While still early, the Clippers were unable to put any semblance of a run together in the third quarter, ending the game right there.
QUOTABLE II: "He is one of the best in the league at getting his own shot. He frees up DeMar (DeRozan), Kyle (Lowry) and everyone else to get their own shot. Teams cannot just concentrate on DeMar (DeRozan), which will open him up.
-- Raptors coach Dwane Casey on Gay.
HOT: For the Raptors, Johnson shot 7-for-9 from the field, scored 19 points and pulled in 16 rebounds, matching a career-high and controlled the paint, limiting Griffin and Deandre Jordan.
NOT: The Clippers shot 20 percent from the field (3-15) in the second quarter and only scored 13 points. During that span the Raptors went on a 17-2 run to close the quarter giving them a 16-point lead into halftime.
BAD MOVE: With 3.9 seconds in the game left Jonas Valanciunas held the ball while the clock ran out, Caron Butler ripped the ball out of his hands and broke for half court. Valanciunas fouled him, which led to a clear path foul, giving the Clippers a free throw and ensuing possession and not a 25-point shot to tie the game.
NOTABLE: The 73 point output by the Clippers was a season-low. Gay played in his first game for the Raptors after being traded for Ed Davis and Jose Calderon on Wednesday. Raptors center Valanciunas returned to the line-up after missing 18 games with a fractured right hand. Chris Paul didn't suit up for the Clippers as he was still out with a fractured right kneecap. Matt Barnes was suspended by the league for one game earlier in the day for his flagrant foul on Wednesday and wasn't with the team.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors: Sunday vs. Miami, Wednesday vs. Boston and Friday @ Indiana. For the Clippers: Sunday @ Boston, Monday @ Washington and Wednesday @ Orlando.