Undermanned Raptors Hang On To Cut Down Nets At ACC
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Raptors 92 99 RAPTORS
Jay Satur
Apr. 10, 2011

In a battle of two very banged-up clubs, it was the Raptors putting the pedal down early by sharing the ball and dominating offensively as they built a lead as big as 21 points.

But the Nets ramped up the defensive pressure in the second half, began to force turnovers and went on a tear in the game's final six minutes. With Toronto ahead 90-73, the Nets used a heavy dose of Brook Lopez to fuel a 19-6 run that cut it to 96-92 with 52 seconds to go. Jerryd Bayless was then fouled by Lopez, hit two free throws to restore a six-point lead and after a Sasha Vujacic missed triple, win no. 22 was in hand.



A balanced effort from the undermanned Raptors was lead by Jerryd Bayless with 19 points (5-11 FGM-A, 8-9 FTM-A), four assists and two rebounds. It wasn't his finest effort during his recent scintillating run as a starter, but he overcame a lot of increased defensive pressure in the second half with an aggressive approach to attacking the basket late.

"He has to do that," said Jay Triano post-game. "The times when he jumped in the air to make a pass are the times that he turned the ball over. When he's aggressive going to the basket that's when better happen, for sure."


As the Raptors approach another busy offseason, one of the more intriguing decisions will be how they approach the starting small forward position and James Johnson furthered his case for that gig on Sunday with a very versatile performance.

Five turnovers notwithstanding, Johnson was a stat sheet stuffer with season-highs in points (18) and minutes (40), plus a game-high six assists, six rebounds and three steals.


"Actually I said to the players, let's embrace this. Let's not look at it like we've got guys hurt, let's embrace it. Guys are going to get the chance to play. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to stay in games if you do, but play the right way and share the basketball. I thought in the first half we did that. I think in the second half they got a little bit wiser."

- Jay Triano, on his approach with the current group of Raptors


Mon., Apr. 11 vs. Bucks
  8:00 PM ET, TSN, FAN590

The Raptors head out for their final road game of the season and conclude their third back-to-back in seven games in Milwaukee against the Bucks. The Raptors have dropped the first three meetings of 2010-11, but have a much better chance now that Andrew Bogut (right elbow pain) has been shut down for the season. The Bucks' centre has torched Toronto for 18.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg and 3.7 bpg this season.

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By The Numbers
27 Nets points off 20 Raptors turnovers
28-16 Second-chance points favouring the Raptors
45-31 Rebounding totals favouring the Raptors
16-15 Offensive rebounding totals favouring the Nets
2-2 Raptors season series record against the Nets this season
They Said It...
"Well, the guys are still having fun, still trying to win every night. Its tough to be on a losing team, we really aren’t playing for anything right now. It’s still fun."

- Ed Davis on the Raptors current morale
Linas Kleiza "We turned it over down four, we couldn’t get the ball into Brook (Lopez) and (Jerryd) Bayless makes the drives and gets to the free throw line and then we just missed a few wide open shots, but we played pretty hard in the fourth quarter."
- Nets head coach Avery Johnson on the loss
Linas Kleiza "I think I’ve had great teachers with Andre Miller, Chris Paul and now Jose (Calderon). I’ve learned a lot from all of them and hopefully this opportunity continues. I just want to be here for a long time."
- Jerryd Bayless, on his current level of play