Head coach Jay Triano stressed at shootaround how important a solid start was on Wednesday and his teams responded by shooting 57.1 per cent in the first half and matching a season-high of 62 points.
Even with some slippage in the second half (14-of-34 shooting), the Raptors never saw their advantage shrink to single digits the rest of the way. The end result was a season-high fourth straight win and included solid debuts from Jerryd Bayless (13 points, 4-7 FGM-A) and Peja Stojakovic (seven points, six minutes).
Reggie Evans had a night for the record books by grabbing a career-high 22 rebounds. The former Sixer also set a new team mark with 15 rebounds in the first half. Factor in his 12 points (four-of-six FGM-A) to give him his first double-double since March 28, 2008 and you'd think it would be a night to bask for Evans. Not quite.
"I was just doing what I normally do, that was the main thing," said Evans. "I really don't want to focus on the career-high. I just do what my team wants me to do."
Wednesday was one of the Raptors' better total team efforts of the campaign and Jose Calderon was a very big reason why. In his strongest performance of the season, Calderon scored a season-high 16 points (on seven-of-10 shooting), matched his season-high with nine assists and turned it over just once.
Calderon showed plenty of poise and confidence in getting the team off to its solid start and then managing things late when the Sixers mounted a fourth-quarter charge in the final eight minutes.
"Our bench is a key part to who we're going to be. With the energy we want to play with at the defensive end, we need to keep running guys in. When we can have Jose start and have DeMar and Sonny run, now I think that's good that we can go to the bench and have a guy like Bayless playing, running and pushing the ball up the floor. I think that gives us a much faster team."
- Jay Triano, on his team's speed
Fri., Nov.26 @ Celtics
7:30 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors face a daunting task as they try and take a second game from the Celtics -- this time on their turf. Boston has been on a roll since their loss in Toronto on Sunday, hammering the Hawks in Atlanta the following night before downing the Nets 89-83 on Wednesday. Rajon Rondo (sore hamstring) has has missed three straight games and it's unknown yet if he'll return for this one.
|4-5||Three-point shooting for Bayless/Stojakovic on Wed.|
|26||Career double-doubles for Reggie Evans|
|24||Total assists for the Raptors on 38 made field goals|
|4||Consecutive games with 20 or more points from Andrea Bargnani|
|62-43||Largest halftime lead of the season for the Raptors (+19)|
|"It's great just being able to play. I'm taking good shots, that's the thing. Just being able to run this team and to be able to get other people going is something that I love to do."|
- Jerryd Bayless, on his debut
|"They have a nice team. Since we saw them we were both 2-9 and the've run off four straight. They just had a lot of juice tonight."|
- Sixers head coach Doug Collins on the Raptors
|"Like I said yesterday, I think it's really up to the organization how are they going to use me or which direction I will play. I don't know, I'm just playing."|
- Peja Stojakovic, on finding his fit