|Amir Johnson, PF 39 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -3
Got maybe the quickest foul in NBA history when he fouled while the ball was going up on the tip-off. He played his usual reliable game, defended the paint well and rebounded. He didn’t shoot all that well, but he did his job.
|Rudy Gay, SF 42 MIN | 10-19 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 26 PTS | +6
Filled the stat sheet, didn’t disappear in the fourth, and took some shots in the paint. He still takes way too many long twos and there were too many lackadaisical plays, for my liking, but he (almost) earned his paycheque, today.
|Aaron Gray, C 34 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +15
The Raptors are 2-0 since inserting him into the starting lineup for the injured Valanciunas. Obviously the missing link to take this team into the playoffs!
Seriously, he held Brook Lopez in check, grabbed some rebounds and had the biggest +/- of the game.
|Kyle Lowry, PG 37 MIN | 2-10 FG | 3-8 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +7
He was definitely outplayed by Deron Williams, had trouble scoring, but worked hard on the floor, helped out on the boards, as usual, and did his best to find the hot shooters.
|DeMar DeRozan, SG 42 MIN | 12-22 FG | 9-9 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 36 PTS | +1
The reason the Raptors won. He took a lot of shots, and seemed allergic to the paint, today, but helped carry the team, at times, offensively, and didn’t get lit up on the other end.
|Quincy Acy, SF 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -2
Memo to Quincy: DON’T FALL FOR PUMPFAKES! Actually played pretty well, except for getting worked by Andray Blatche in the fourth. He rebounded, brought his usual energy and showed again that he’s got a place on this team.
|John Lucas, PG 11 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1
The restraint he showed by not shooting ANY threes, especially when he had a number of opportunities was astounding. He still went 1-4, but took mostly good shots and remembered he had teammates on the floor with him.
|Alan Anderson, SG 12 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +7
If he ever stops trying to do his best Kobe impersonations, he’ll have his choice of where to sign. It’s his penchant for trying to do too much that hurts him the most. Other than his usual handful of bad shots, he played his usual feisty game, with good defense.
The fact that he didn’t have much of a bench to go to probably worked in his favour, as his substitutions patterns didn’t hurt the team, this time. He should have insisted the team score more inside, but otherwise, none of his usual head-scratching decisions.
Three Things We Saw
- Without Valanciunas’ inside scoring, the team relied on the jumper, and they just happen to be making them today. It was 8:54 in the first before the ball even entered the paint, for the Raptors, and 7:25 before there was a shot attempt in there. The first post-up came from Amir, with 4:10 left in the first.
- The Raptors took a 20 point lead with 3:03 left in the first off a Rudy Gay ally-oop. But with the Raptors taking so many outside jumpers, and Brooklyn fighting for playoff seeding, you knew they’d make a run.
And they did.
- The Raptors actually outscored the Nets in the paint, but that was mainly due to the Nets shooting so horribly inside. While you have to credit the Raptors defense somewhat, the Nets just played poorly and looked off their game.
Yes, the Raptors have won 3 in a row against playoff teams, but you can’t downplay that Chicago and Brooklyn lost those games as much as as the Raptors won them.