TORONTO, Nov. 7 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter
overcame the trade rumors to
lift the Toronto Raptors to one of the greatest moments in their
Carter's 3-pointer from the left
wing with 4.8 seconds remaining lifted the Raptors to a 101-97
victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, marking the team's
first 3-0 start in franchise history.
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With the score tied at 95-95, Carter faked a drive toward Nick Van Exel
and stepped back to hit his only 3-pointer of the
contest. He also made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to
finish with nine points in the fourth and 25 overall.
"I was waiting for the shot clock to come down," Carter said.
"As I went left, everybody went left so I just stepped back and
hey, do or die. Fortunately it went in."
"That's his thing," Portland's Van Exel said. "He made a
move and hit me with a step back. Great move and great shot.
Good players make that shot. My hat's off to him."
Trailing 100-97, the Trail Blazers had a chance for a shot in
the final seconds but Darius Miles
overthrew Van Exel on an
inbounds pass down the sideline for their 17th turnover of the
, Jalen Rose
and Donyell Marshall
had 16 points
apiece for the Raptors, who outscored Portland 31-18 in the
second quarter to take a nine-point lead at the half.
In its first three games of the season, Toronto has dominated its
opponent by more than 12 points per contest in the second
Much of the charge was led by the second unit, with Lamond Murray
and Milt Palacio
scoring seven points apiece. In all,
the Raptors' reserves outscored Portland's 40-21.
"We always talk in practice and we feel that we need to come in
and be the energy group," said Marshall, who had 10 points in
his first 11 minutes off the bench. "We as a team are a lot
deeper than we were last year and that is helping."
"It was a total team effort," Rose said. "It is picture
perfect. This franchise has never started 3-0 and more
importantly, going on a big West Coast trip you want at least
two out of three at home. For us to get all three is a good
start and hopefully we can go on the road and play good
, who missed the team flight and arrived in town
late Saturday night, rallied the Trail Blazers with 25 of his 33
points in the second half.
"We had no answer for Zach Randolph," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell
said. "Our guys battled him and he made some tough shots."
"I feel we should've won this game," said Randolph. "We
could've had better execution earlier in the game and we
definitely would've won this game."
scored 16 points and Theo Ratliff
up his franchise-record nine-block performance on Friday against
the Los Angeles Clippers with six rejections for Portland,
which absorbed its first loss in three games.