The Raps used a solid second half punctuated by a great fourth quarter to earn Friday's comeback win. Trailing 73-79 with 9:27 to play, they rattled off a 16-2 run over a span of 4:40 to take an eight-point lead.
But the Nets rallied to pull within two with 38 seconds to play. On Toronto's' next possession, Andrea Bargnani recognized a mismatch with Devin Harris, called for the ball in the post and when a second defender came to help, kicked out to Leandro Barbosa for a three and a 97-92 lead with 15 seconds to play and it was game over.
In his return following a two-game absence with sore knee, Andrea Bargnani was potent for the Raptors -- especially in the second half -- and in just over 38 minutes of work finished with 32 points (14-26 FGM-A), nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Jay Triano admitted post-game that Bargnani was more of a focal point after halftime and the results were explosive as he shot 10-15 to torch the Nets for 24 points in the final two quarters. In the fourth, his rebounding was timely, his defence was solid and his ability to set up teammates helped nail down the win.
Jose Calderon also slid back into the lineup after a four-game absence (sore foot) and brought some steady leadership in his return. Calderon scored 15 points (7-9 FGM-A) with 14 assists -- a season-high for a Nets opponent. He shook off a little early rust with three first-half turnovers, but like Bargnani he was better in the second half with 11 points, eight assists and just one giveaway.
"You can see that we are a little bit of a different team with them [Bargnani, Calderon] on the floor and when Jose is controlling the game," said Triano post-game.
"I think we just did a better job of getting him the ball in the right spots. In the first half we tried to get Amir going a little bit and give him a couple of plays to start, tired to get DeMar going a bit. It was like five or six minutes in before Andrea had touched the ball anywhere in our offence other than the lob, so we knew we were going to go to him we just wanted to ease him back in a little bit The second half we needed to get the best player the basketball."
- Jay Triano, on the second half for Andrea Bargnani
Sun., Dec. 19 vs. Lakers
1:00 PM ET, TSN, FAN590
ACC is sure to be electric Sunday as the defending NBA Champs make their only appearance in Toronto this season. The Raptors fell 103-108 to the Lakers in LA back on Nov. 5, which has been a prime example of how close these two teams have played in recent matchups. The Raptors have dropped seven of eight vs. the Lakers, but the last three games have been decided by a combined six points.
|26||Assists on 40 made field goals for the Raptors|
|12/4||Career highs in rebounds/assists matched by Linas Kleiza on Friday|
|15||Games where Bargnani has led the Raptors in scoring this season|
|6||Consecutive wins for the Raptors over the Nets|
|85||Combines points from Raptors starters on Friday, a season high|
|“We just tried to break them down. We took advantage of when they put (Brook) Lopez on me. I tried to get to the basket and try to get fouled and just try to do the little things."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on the tough loss
|"Our guys battled. We came to play tonight. We just couldn't finish it."|
- Nets head coach Avery Johnson on his team's effort
|"We went to Andrea as much as we could when he was hot, it looked the the ball was finding me when I was knocking shots down. That's the way basketball should be played and we did it tonight."|
- Linas Kleiza, on feeding the hot hand