Is Blake Griffin’s debut in Toronto enough of an excuse to watch a Raptors game these days? The big fella and the Blakers took to the ACC tonight, but it was fellow rookie Ed Davis stealing the spotlight, scoring 13 points, blocking three shots and grabbing a career-high 14 boards in a 98-93 Toronto win. Griffin shook some early foul trouble to finish with 21 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles, which lost in its first game since falling to the sad-sack Cavs on Friday.
As for The Blake Show, the highlight of the night came on a first quarter alley-oop in transition from Baron Davis, and Griffin added a handful of slightly softer dunks to round out his performance. His 21 led the Clippers, with Davis pitching in 20 and seven assists and Brian Cook shocking the world 17 off the bench, nine of which came on deep balls.
For Toronto, Davis got his in 36 minutes off the bench, which came as a result of five Amir Johnson fouls in 14 minutes. Sure, Davis’ weren’t and surely will never come with the flash of his rookie counterpart, but he did it very efficiently tonight, making 6-of-8 shots and grabbing six of his 14 boards on the offensive end. Andrea Bargnani paced the Raptors with 27 points, DeMar DeRozan had 17 and seven rebounds and Jose Calderon had 10 points and 11 assists.
Not really a convincing win against a team that was without its top scorer (Eric Gordon) and coming off a loss to arguably the worst team in NBA history, but a win nonetheless. It’s just Toronto’s second and 18 games and bumps the season mark to a 15-40, which means only two wins in the final 27 games are necessary to avoid the worst season in franchise history. Then again, the way the Raptors have played the past couple months, 2-25 is no sure thing. Next up is the dinosaur himself, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat on Wednesday.