Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Raps Rap: April 4-10

Game 56 - @ Philadelphia (W 99-78 / 20-35 / streak W3) Wednesday April 4, 2012

When the Raptors stick to their strengths, and produce across the board, they do quite well. That's easier said than done though. Consistent games like this though and the Raptors are much better than their record indicates. Bargs had 24 points, DeMar had 18, and Calderon had 12 points and 13 assists despite having to leave the game after he took an Elton Brand elbow to the eye and returning stitched up, swollen, and bandaged. Ed Davis hauled in 14 boards, and Alan Anderson started the game and scored 13 points as the Sixers continued to fall in the Eastern conference standings. Despite the productive offensive numbers, it was the Raps defense that got the job done as they held the Sixers to just seven points in the fourth quarter. The Raps outrebounded the Sixers 46-29 and never missed a free-throw.

Raptor Highlight of the Night; Linas Kleiza with the fall-away three pointer into the bench

Calderon played through the pain with his eye nearly swelled shut
Game 57 - vs Cavaliers (L 84-80 / 20-36 / streak L1) Friday April 6, 2012

Without Kyrie Irving and ex-Raptor Anthony Parker, the Cavs came back in the fourth quarter outscoring the Raps 33-17, including 16 in the final frame by Antawn Jamison. The 14-year veteran Jamison scored a total of 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Raps who once dealt the rights to Jamison for Vince Carter in a draft-night deal. The Raps three-game winning streak was snapped even though DeMar scored 28 points and Bargs went for 19 points and seven rebounds. The Cavs shot 25-for-73 for the game, yet managed to beat the Raptors. The Raps had more points in the paint and more rebounds, but committed 14 turnovers. Calderon's swollen eye kept him out of the game.

Raptor Highlight of the Night; Ed Davis blocks Tristan Thompson's post move

Game 58 - @ Oklahoma City (L 91-75 / 20-37 / streak L2) Sunday April 8, 2012

The Raptors hung tight with arguably the league's best team until the Thunder woke up and went on an absurd 24-0 run to crush the Raptors. The Thunder had been struggling and had lost three straight, but managed to hold all except two Raptors to single-digit scoring. Calderon shot an efficient 8-12 in his return from an eye injury and scored 19 points with six assists, and DeMar had 18 points. Bargnani had seven points in the first half, but did not return for the second half after re-aggravating the strained calf that he's battled all season long. His return does not seem imminent.

Raptor Highlight of the Night; DeMar DeRozan outruns the Thunder for the two-handed slam

Game 59 - @ Indiana (L 103-98 / 20-38 / streak L3) Monday April 9, 2012

The Raptors almost came back from a fourth quarter 15-point defecit to defeat the Pacers, but it was too little too late. Amir Johnson had 16 and seven, Alan Anderson started the game and had 17 points, Linas Kleiza had 18 points, and Ed Davis had a double-double. Ex-Raptor Leandro Barbosa had 14 points in 22 minutes off the bench for the Pacers including a clutch three. At the halftime buzzer Calderon gave George Hill way too much space and he drained a long two. The Pacers outscored the Raptors 17-3 in fastbreak points.

Raptor Highlight of the Night; James Johnson with the flying block

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, April 11th - Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers, 7pm

Friday, April 13th - Raptors vs Boston Celtics, 7pm

Sunday, April 15th - Raptors @ Atlanta Hawks, 6pm

Monday, April 16th - Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks, 7pm

(Calderon image via Sportsnet)

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