Jay Satur January 17, 2010
Air Canada Centre
The Raptors really took control of the game in the second quarter. Toronto started and ended the frame on runs, outscoring Dallas 34-18 and effectively putting the Mavs down for the count.
Given the calibre of the opponent, the consistency at both ends of the floor and solid contributions throughout the lineup, Sunday's win capped the first half of the Raptors' season with possibly their best all-around performance.
The Chris Bosh-Andrea Bargnani duo once again led the charge for Toronto, combining for 45 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. Bosh was big in the first half, while Bargnani carried the team offensively in the third quarter.
The pair also spearheaded a defensive stand by committee on Dirk Nowitzki, who was held to 19 points and three rebounds. An example of just how terrifying these two can be up front when they're both at their best.
Jose Calderon continued his assault from the bench for the Raptors, pouring in 15 points (6-12 FGM-A) with seven assists, two steals and just one turnover in 23 minutes of work.
Jarrett Jack was also strong in Sunday's game and provided absolutely no reason for kind of change. And why should there be? The Mavs offer a great example of how vital a prolific sixth man can be in Jason Terry and Calderon has looked very good in a similar role of late.
"The one thing with him (Amir Johnson), as well, is we tried to show Dirk (Nowitzki) as many different looks as we could. We tried to get in front sometimes, tried to switch and just make it difficult because we did not want him getting any type of rhythm going. Amir was a big part of that, as was Antoine Wright who played a lot of minutes. He had to do both, he had to guard Dirk Nowitzki and he had to guard Jason Terry and chase him around. They were two different assignments and two tough assignments."
- Jay Triano on defending Dirk Nowitzki
Tues., Jan. 19 @ Cleveland 7:00 PM ET (TSN, FAN 590)
GAME NOTES: The second half of the season begins much like the first for the Raptors (21-20), as they face Cavaliers (31-11) for a second time. Since the Raptors' 101-91 season-opening win at ACC on Oct. 28, as the Cavs have rocketed back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Andrea Bargnani was brilliant in that opening night win, pouring in 28 points (11-15 FGM-A) and five rebounds. Tuesday's tilt promises to be a real challenge on the road for the the Raptors, as the Cavs have compiled the best home record in the East at 14-3.
Raptors' record at Air Canada Centre
Margin of victory for the Raptors, their largest ever against the Mavs
Number of Raptors turnovers, a season-low
Number of double-doubles for Chris Bosh, tied for the league lead
Fast break points favouring the Raptors
"I am feeling pretty comfortable. We are winning and that is the good thing about it. I am feeling good, feeling healthy and that is the best thing." - Jose Calderon on running the second unit
"The second quarter was our undoing... When you go through a drought, you have to stop them. We didn't do it. The end result is a loss. - Mavs coach Rick Carlisle on the loss
"I know my role here. When I come off that bench, I pretty much just run the floor, try and get guys open and get rebounds. I will do anything I can do to give our team a lift." - Amir Johnson on his performance.