Raptors Run Down Late By Aldridge, Blazers At ACC
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Raptors 102 96 RAPTORS
Jay Satur
Feb. 11, 2011

The Raptors turned an eight-point halftime deficit into a seven-point fourth quarter lead with 6:40 remaining, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum rattled off nine straight points to regain a two-point Portland advantage.

Both teams traded buckets from there, but Andre Miller gave the Blazers a little separation with a three-point play with 2:43 to go. After a missed jumper from Andrea Bargnani, Miller drilled an 18-footer for an 98-92 lead and although the Raps got it within two with 11.7 seconds to play, they couldn't get a stop and the Blazers iced it at the line.



Aldridge entered this one hot and leaves Toronto still sizzling thanks to a stat-stuffing performance of 37 points (14-25 FGM-A), 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Everything seemed to go through him in the fourth quarter, where he went four-of-five from the floor and six-of-eight from the line for 14 points.

"My teammates have done a great job of getting me the ball," said Aldridge post-game. "I think Coach Nate (McMillan) has been unbelievable in believing in me so it has been a pretty fun ride."


Jerryd Bayless seemed like an unlikely candidate for this distinction after going 0-4 from the floor with one turnover through the first three quarters, but the former Blazer was saved his best for last.

Bayless caught fire from long range by making four three-pointers in the fourth on his way to 6-7 shooting from the floor in the frame. His 18 points were just two shy of the franchise record for most in a quarter, but more importantly, helped turn a Raptors deficit at the start of the fourth into a seven-point advantage.


"He’s a good player. Our goal was to force him to not get to the middle of the floor and I think he got there all but one or two times. He gets to the middle, he’s pretty dangerous and then you have to close out a little quicker on him. I thought, for the most part, they’re going to go through him a lot, he’s going to touch the basketball, and 25 shots is a lot of shots but you have to close out a little quicker on him and not get hung out on the screen."

- Jay Triano, on LaMarcus Aldridge down the stretch


Sun., Feb. 11 vs. Clippers
  6:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590

Has there ever been a visit from the Clippers anticipated this much here in Toronto? Blake Griffin will make his first and only appearance at ACC this season as the Clippers continue their huge 11-game road trip. The Raptors have swept the last two season series with the Clippers and have won seven of the last eight meetings.They'll meet again on Mar. 26 in LA.

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By The Numbers
55.6 3-point shooting percentage for Toronto (5-9 3FGM-A)
13 Career high in rebounds for Ed Davis on Friday
23 First-half points for Rudy Fernandez on 8-8 shooting
3 Consecutive season series sweeps by Portland over Toronto
135 Consecutive games played as a Raptor by Amir Johnson before sitting on Friday
They Said It...
"It would have felt good if we had won. When I was in New Orleans we beat them and I didn’t have half as good of game and it felt a lot better so like I said we’ve just got to continue to move on the right track and hopefully we will."

- Jerryd Bayless on a strong game vs. his former team
Linas Kleiza "Offensively we started to get some execution, LeMarcus (Aldridge) in the post. Then we got some defensive stops and did the things we needed to do to win this game."

- Blazers head coach Nate McMillian on the fourth quarter
Linas Kleiza "I feel like I’m back in high school. I feel good, I just put in the work. I’m still not satisfied with it."

- DeMar DeRozan, on the improvement to his jump shot