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Bargnani's Blistering Start Helps Raptors Sink Knicks
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BOX 

SCORE RECAP PHOTOS VIDEOS
FINAL SCORE
Raptors 112 104 Pacers
Jay Satur
January 15, 2010
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
IT WAS OVER WHEN...

This game started to feel like Indiana all over again in the second half, as a 27-point lead suddenly evaporated in the third. A Nate Robinson three-pointer cut the Raptors' lead to 93-85 early in the fourth quarter, but Jose Calderon delivered a swift counterpunch.

Calderon stuck jumpers on two ensuing possessions to push the lead back to 97-85 with 10:10 to play and the Raptors seemed to regain their footing from there, keeping the Knicks in check the rest of the way.

THE GAME CHANGER

Take a player on a roll, add the incentive of your home country watching and you get Andrea Bargnani's performance on Italian Heritage Night in New York on Friday. He was devastating in the first quarter, where he found Chris Bosh with a sweet high-low touch pass, splashed a trio of first-quarter threes, added a devastating drive and dunk and hauled in six rebounds.

Just another night at MSG for Bargnani, who's 24 points and 12 rebounds on Friday trumps his averages of 21.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg against the Knicks last season.

THE UNDERRATED RAPTOR

Impossible to choose between DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon. DeRozan's assertive mentality earned him a whopping 14 trips to the line, where he scored 11 of his 19 points on the night. With Marco Belinelli out (illness), DeRozan also found himself playing some fairly significant fourth-quarter minutes -- a rarity so far in his rookie season.

Calderon turned in possibly his strongest game of the season finishing with a season-high 21 points (nine-of-13 FGM-A, 3-3, 3PT FGM-A) and a team-high six assists off the bench.

THAT'S A RAP

"We had a very good start and we moved the ball well. They missed some shots and we were able to capitalize. We were a little bit wiser with the basketball. We still did take a couple quick shots and we still did hold it a little too much for my liking, but you know I have to understand that some of those quick shots are some of the shots that went in and gave us that quick lead early toothats going to happen but we still need to move the basketball as we did as the game went on."

- Jay Triano on the Raptors' win

3-GAME OUTLOOK

Sun., Jan. 17 vs. Dallas
12:30 PM ET (CBC, FAN 590)

GAME NOTES:
It's a quick turnaround home for the Raptors (20-20), who try and finish the first half of the season above the .500 mark with a win over the Dallas Mavericks (26-13) at ACC. The Raptors were drubbed 129-101 by the Mavericks in Dallas back on Nov. 7, with Dirk Nowitzki dropping 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the win. Sunday's game marks the return of former Raptor Shawn Marion to Air Canada Centre and Antoine Wright's second game against his former club.

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The Numbers
54.2 Raptors' 3-point shooting percentage on Friday (12-22)
10-3 Offensive rebounding favouring the Knicks
6 Number of Raptors scoring in double-figures Friday
3 Number of Knicks with at least 25 points (Lee, Gallinari, Harrington)
45 Percentage of Raptors free throws taken by DeMar DeRozan
They Said It...
Andrea Bargnani "It was a big game in Italy because they were doing the game live in Italy so everybody was watching... For our country, it is important." - Andrea Bargnani.
Mike D'Antoni "First, you have to give them credit, they shot the living daylights out of us. We didnt make them feel us at all. - Mike D'Antoni
DeMar DeRozan " It felt good. That says a lot from coach (Triano). He's gaining trust in me to leave me out there in the fourth quarter..." - DeMar DeRozan on his late minutes.