TORONTO, April 14 (Ticker) --
The New Jersey Nets are just waiting for
the playoffs, while the Toronto Raptors are still fighting to
Morris Peterson scored 24 points to lead five players in double
figures as the Raptors continue their amazing run at the
playoffs with a 101-82 victory over the Nets, who barely used
New Jersey already has earned the top seed in the Eastern
Conference, giving it a chance to rest its key players in the
final three games of the season. Toronto is trying to make the
postseason and took advantage, moving within once victory of
clinching a playoff berth.
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Alvin Williams and the Raptors breezed by the Nets, who rested their starters.
The Raptors (41-39) never trailed after the first 90 seconds and
led by as many as 39 points en route to their 11th win in 12
games. They remained one game ahead of Milwaukee and Indiana for
seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
"The point is that we came to play and we were focused and in
control," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "You always want to
control your own destiny. You never want to sit around and hope
someone else does something."
Peterson made 10-of-14 shots and Antonio Davis had 14 points on
7-of-11 shooting as Toronto shot 57 percent (46-of-81).
"The bottom line is that we played the way that we can play,"
Davis said. "We don't care what anybody else is doing, we
control what happens from here. We took another giant step and
hope that carries on."
The Raptors had an 11-10 lead less than five minutes into the
game before going on a 15-4 run. Peterson scored five points and
Alvin Williams added four of his 13 during the burst, which
gave Toronto a 26-14 cushion.
The Raptors had a 30-22 advantage early in the second before
carrying a 37-9 run into the second half to put away the game.
Eight different Toronto players scored during the stretch led by
Jerome Williams, who scored 10 of his 12 points.
Williams capped the burst with a dunk to give the Raptors a
67-31 cushion five minutes into the third quarter. Toronto had
its largest lead at 79-41 after a 3-pointer by Alvin Williams 6
1/2 minutes later.
Hakeem Olajuwon had 10 points and six rebounds and fellow
reserve Dell Curry added nine points for the Raptors, who had a
46-35 rebounding advantage and collected 30 assists.
Rookie Brian Scalabrine scored a season-high 16 points and
played 31 minutes to lead New Jersey.
Rookie Jason Collins also scored 16 points as none of the Nets'
starters played more than 22 minutes.
Jason Kidd played 22 minutes and Kenyon Martin 21, with the
other three new Jersey starters combining for just 44 minutes.
The starters combined to made just 11-of-31 shots in their
limited time on the floor.
"I'm really upset that our starters didn't come ready to play,"
New Jersey coach Byron Scott said. "I thought a couple of guys
showed up but I think others took my kindness for a weakness. To
have a laid-back attitude is OK, but to not come out trying,
that's not acceptable."
The Nets shot just 41 percent (32-of-78) from the floor and
posted their lowest total since losing to Detroit on February
"We were giving guys a rest and it did not work," said forward
Keith Van Horn, who had two points and five rebounds in 11
minutes. "Obviously you never want to lose like this, but it
just wasn't us."
"I think we already had our vacation and now we have to get back
to work," Kidd said. "The guys in the locker room understand
that we have to get ready. We have to keep our edge because once
you lose it, it's hard to get it back."