I’ll be honest — I watched the first quarter and a bit of tonight’s Raptors game and saw them fall behind by about 20 before deciding I’d wasted enough time. To my relief, after I checked back at 88-88 midway through the fourth, Toronto went on a 16-1 run to finish the Clippers off, making the final 104-89. At least I’ll feel alright watching Sunday knowing I can do some good.
For the second straight game, the Raptors used a second half tear to pull away, outscoring Chris Kaman & co. 59-35 over the final 24 minutes to improve to 5-4 on the season. Again, having missed much of the game, I can’t really weigh in on what the difference was, though Jack Armstrong was hyping a huge defensive turnaround in what I saw late. Marco Belinelli was also a huge factor from the second quarter forward, scoring 15 points off the bench and finishing a +25 in 28 minutes.
Chris Bosh strung together another gutty performance, finishing with 21 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Jose Calderon continued to roll, scoring 18 on 8-of-14 and adding nine assists (and no turnovers). After getting cut by a Sebastian Telfair elbow with the Raps up two with about four minutes to go, Calderon went on a tear to close things out, finishing on a layup and dropping a three for the final dagger.
Kaman did most of the damage for the Clippers, scoring 25 and making quick work of Andrea Bargnani’s “post defense” in the first half. Bargnani had his way with Kaman on the other end though, driving and scoring a few times early and finishing with a late three to help put it away. Bargnani had 19 points on 8-of-13.
The win starts Toronto’s four-game west swing on a nice note, but it’ll get way tougher moving forward — Phoenix (8-2) is next on Sunday, followed by a back-to-back with Denver (7-3) and Utah (4-5) on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll be more than pleased with one of three.