USA TODAY Sports
Amir Johnson proves his worth to the Raptors yet again as Toronto knocks off the lowly Charlotte Bobcats at the Air Canada Center Friday night.
It's still weird calling him a veteran, considering the fact that he's only 25 years old, but let's go with it.
Johnson scored 12 points on 5 for 11 shooting, including grabbing a career-high 21 rebounds (eight on the offensive glass) as the Raptors improve to 26-40 on the year with a 92-78 victory over the 14-51 Charlotte Bobcats.
This was his 13th double-double on the season, which leads the team. It was also the 50th 10-rebound game of his career, which makes him just the fifth Raptor ever (Chris Bosh, Charles Oakley, Donyell Marshall and Antonio Davis) to reach that mark.
I've said this on numerous occasions, but I feel the need to say it again after last nights performance; Amir Johnson has been the MVP of the Toronto Raptors this season. DeMar DeRozan (nine points, 1 for 5 from the field) has taken huge strides towards solidifying his name around the league in year four of his young career, but no one player on this team has been as consistent and impressive as Amir Johnson in 2012-13.
He's never going to light it up on the scoreboard (he's still averaging a career-high in points at 10.2 a game), but the little things he does on the court (grab rebounds, play defense, provide energy and hustle) always makes Raptors fans smile from ear to ear.
All five of the Bobcats starters had a combined 28 rebounds, which makes Amir's 21 boards all the more staggering.
Toronto needed this kind of game from Amir, because for the most part, the team played extremely sloppy.
The Raptors turned the ball over 20 times, making this just the second game all season that the team has emerged victorious, despite having that many turnovers.
Rudy Gay, who contributed six turnovers of his own, finished the night with a game-high 28 points (11 in the first quarter) on an efficient 11 for 16 shooting. It's games like this that will detract the "haters", as Gay's shooting numbers (39.9% from the field) have been a major red flag this season.
This game wasn't truly decided until the fourth quarter, as Toronto only had a one-point lead (69-68) after the first 36 minutes. The Raptors held the Bobcats to less than 8% shooting in the final twelve, including a grand total of 32% shooting from the field on the entire night.
Charlotte took many questionable shots throughout the game, but one of their more noticeable flaws was their inability to convert around the rim, going 13 for 32 (40%) in that department.
TERRENCE ROSS WATCH: In almost 24 minutes, Ross scored nine points on 4 for 5 shooting, including two rebounds, one assist and one steal. If he continues to play well, he will see more and more playing time, which is what the Raptors need to give him as the season winds down. He showed more of a willingness to attack the basket, rather then settling for difficult jump shots, which was great to see. He's athletic enough and talented enough to make those kinds of moves.
I'm loving it, ba da ba ba ba.
The Miami Heat and their 50-14 record will visit the ACC on Sunday afternoon.
Will the Raptors be the Kevin Nash to Goldberg's winning-streak?
Wrestling references for the win!