Definitely a bounce back game for the Raptors in terms of effort, but another fourth-quarter collapse denied them of a win they likely deserved on this night.
The Raptors were ahead 80-70 with 8:46 to play, but the Clippers switched to zone defece and shut Toronto down during a 13-2 run that gave them the lead. Both teams traded buckets until a key sequence where Eric Gordon blocked Leandro Barbosa at one end and then drilled a three out of timeout the other way to put LA ahead for good with one minute to go.
Sure, Blake Griffin was a little late to the party on Saturday, but he was the life of it in the fourth quarter. The probable Rookie Of The Year scored eight of his game-high 22 points and grabbed half of his game-high 16 rebounds in the final frame, with several coming during that decisive run that gave he Clippers the lead.
"It was our defense," said Griffin post-game. "We got stops. We went out in transition and in the half court setting, we made plays."
Ed Davis should have got this last night for a new career-high in points, but then he goes out and tops it tonight. Eric Koreen of the National Post mentioned the Ed Davis Draft Night Revenge Tour today and with the Clippers on his list, the rookie set a new career-high in points with 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. It was his second straight double double and should quell any notions of him hitting the rookie wall.
"I’m still fresh because I missed training camp; it’s only my 56th game," he said. "It was my first time [on a long trip], but I take care of my body well, eat well and I get the right amount of sleep so I’m always ready."
"We’re not moving the ball that well. That comes with experience and we have to be better, and I will take the responsibility for that. Teams are going to play us zone then the ball has to go inside and side to side. We’re a team that sometimes holds the ball, and when you hold the ball the zone can match up. It’s a matter of experience and getting the ball from one side to another, and we didn’t do that very well."
- Jay Triano, on playing against the zone
Wed., Mar. 26 vs. Bucks
7:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
This road trip ends the Raptors longest remaining stretch of either home or away games, as they'll alternate the final nine games of the season beginning with the Bucks at ACC. The Raptors are 0-2 on the season against the Bucks, with one more meeting in Milwaukee to follow on April 11th.
|54-48||Points in the paint favouring the Raptors|
|38.8%||Field goal percentage for Toronto|
|9||Double doubles on the season for Ed Davis|
|10||Biggest lead for the Raptors in the fourth quarter|
|12||Fast break points for the Raptors, below their season average of 18.7 per game|
|"In the pro’s guys are 10 times smarter than those guys in college. They’re longer and they can cover a lot of the floor."|
- Ed Davis on the difference in zone defences from college to pros
|"We had to gut that one out a little bit. The energy early wasn’t great, we let them get some confidence early on with their dribble penetration."|
- Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro on the win
|"It definitely bothers me a little bit, because I wish I could have come out and helped my team out. But I tried to do the little things -- rebound, play a little defence, try and gets some steals and help us get this game."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on a poor shooting night