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Raptors Bring Effort, Intensity In Blowout Win Over Nets
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Nets 95 118 Raptors
Jay Satur
December 18, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON


In a game they absolutely had to get, the Raptors came out early with the pedal down against the Nets. Toronto forced seven New Jersey turnovers in the first quarter, which in turn sparked countless fast break opportunities.

The defining sequence, that stretch when it just didn't seem like it going to be the Nets' night, came during a four-minute run late in the first frame. The Raptors rattled off 14 straight points punctuated by three massive dunks from Sonny Weems, DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson in transition.



The style of play in this one really benefitted Amir Johnson, who chipped in a season-high 18 points (on 7-of-10 shooting) to lead a remarkably balanced scoring effort. He added seven boards, two steals and two blocks in his finest game of the season.

Anytime you see a guy out there running the floor for lobs and outworking opponents for putbacks when his team is up by 40, you know you've got a gamer.


DeMar DeRozan seemed to have his swagger back after a few quiet games. DeRozan was right back to setting an aggressive tone early on. That was clear when he made a hard cut to take a pass from Hedo Turkoglu and threw down a vicious dunk in the game's first two minutes.

He finished with 16 points on an efficient six-of-eight shooting (4-5 FTM-A) with four rebounds in just over 24 minutes of playing time. He'll be performing in front of his former USC head coach Tim Floyd on Sunday as he's now an assistant with the visiting New Orleans Hornets. Look for the rook to keep rolling then.


The Raptors were facing an opponent that's clearly struggling, but they brought a commitment to defence early that led to 16 first-half turnover from the Nets -- one shy of tying the record for an opponent in a half. New Jersey also opened the first two-quarters with 33 points -- a season-low for a Raptors opponent.

Toronto also held big first-half advantages in fast break points (22-9 favouring Toronto by halftime) and points in the paint (32-20). It all added up to a whopping 70-33 lead at the break and a rare Raptors blowout this season


"Our guys from the jump ball did a great job. I thought we pressured the basketball, caused turnovers and had more deflections tonight than we have had all year. I think that lead to great energy going the other way and we started making shots. It was good pressure defensively that created opportunities for us.

- Jay Triano on his team's energy level.


Sun., Dec. 20 vs. New Orleans
12:30 PM ET (CBC, FAN 590)

The Raptors (12-17) look to duplicate Friday's effort against a Hornets team that's starting to roll. The Raptors took the first matchup of the season 107-90 in New Orleans back on Nov. 6. But the dismissal of Byron Scott now sees GM Jeff Bower on the sidelines with Tim Floyd serving as his lead assistant. Chris Paul had a big night against the Raptors in the first matchup with 21 points, 18 assists and he's coming off a dominant 30-point, 19-assist, nine-rebound performance in a win against the Nuggets on Friday.

The Numbers
2-0 The Raptors' record in their Huskies jerseys this season
11 Number of assists on 13 made field goals in the first quarter for Toronto
.524 3-Point shooting percentage for the Raptors in their last two home games (11-for-21)
9-0 The Raptors' record when they hold opponents to under 100 points this season
49 Number of field goals made for the Raptors -- a season-high
They Said It...
Sonny Weems Alvin Williams, who's me and DeMar's mentor, just said 'be calm out there. Don't rush everything because you only get a limited amount of minutes. You can't rush everything, you've got to play your game.'- Sonny Weems on his recent improved play.
Chris Douglas-Roberts ""Pitiful, horrible. Horrible effort. Awful. Everything about it from the beginning, there were no signs. I didn't take anything positive from this." - Nets forward Chris Douglas-Roberts, on his team's performance.
Jarrett Jack "Honestly... the only game I thought about coming into today was New Jersey. Chris Paul actually texted me and was like he's coming to town tomorrow, so I figure we're playing them on Sunday. Other than that, I don't look past anybody" -Jarrett Jack on the Raptors' upcoming schedule.
Fantasy Alert
16.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.9 APG

Notes: Strong game from Chris Douglas-Roberts in his return from from a three-game absence with a sore left knee. He had a team-high 16 points (7-12 FGM-A), three rebounds and four assists.
Hedo Turkoglu
14.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.0 APG

Notes: The scoring continues to be a little low for Hedo Turkoglu, but he continues to make his presence felt as a playmaker. His seven assists on Friday now gives him at least four in seven of his last eight games.