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The Greatest Raptors Team Tournament: The Semis, Part 1

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Semi-Final #1: #1 2000-01 Toronto vs. #5 2004-05 Toronto

The first semi-final of the Greatest Raptors Team Tournament pits the top-seeded 2000-01 Raptors against the #5 seed 2004-05 squad.

2000-01 won their first round series with ease, dispatching 2002-03 in five games. Antonio Davis was their leader with five double-doubles.

Meanwhile, 2004-05 defeated 1998-99 in an epic seven game series, culminated by Morris Peterson’s three-pointer with two seconds left in game 7.

Game 1: 2004-05 Toronto 103 at 2000-01 Toronto 88

Chris Bosh had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jalen Rose led the way with 24 as 2004-05 cruised to a 103-88 victory in Game 1.

04-05 led by three at the start of the fourth quarter before erupting on a 15-4 run to start the quarter. 00-01 would get no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

Along with Bosh and Rose, both Morris Peterson and Milt Palacio finished in double figures for 04-05, both with 14. Palacio was a perfect 6-6 from the floor, including a highlight reel alley-oop at the first quarter buzzer.

With 1.2 seconds left in the quarter, Palacio stole the ball from Tracy Murray at mid-court and immediately called time out. On the ensuing inbound pass, Rafael Araujo’s lob was converted by Palacio.

The night’s best moment came before Game 1 when the 1995-96 and 1997-98 teams dueled to avoid being known as the worst team in Raptors history

The two clubs put on an epic battle. 1995-96 led by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter and were up 110-103 with 40 seconds to go. Chauncey Billups hit a three to cut the lead to 4 and 96-97 got the ball back with 15 seconds remaining after a Damon Stoudamire miss.

They failed to get into their offense and Doug Christie was forced to throw up an off-balance three from well beyond the arc at the buzzer. Incredibly, the shot went in and Oliver Miller was called for the foul. Christie calmly nailed the free throw and the game went into overtime.

95-96 would end up prevailing 131-127 in double overtime. Damon Stoudamire played all 58 minutes, scoring 31 points and adding 12 assists.

Game Notes: 00-01 led for 1:28 of the game, with their largest lead being one…00-01 was 11-22 from the charity stripe…Mark Jackson led all players with 10 assists…04-05’s two-headed monster at pivot, Araujo and Loren Woods, had 11 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes of play. More importantly, they picked up only one foul…Many 1998-99 players were still in town from their first round series and attended. Doug and Jackie Christie were seen sporting matching purses.

Game 2: 2004-05 Toronto 113 at 2000-01 Toronto 123

Charles Oakley had 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Vince Carter led five 00-01 players in double figures with 27 points as 00-01 tied up the series with a 123-113 victory.

The 00-01 squad was never threatened during the game, as they led for all but ten seconds, yet never led by more than 13.

Up 56-50 at the half, 00-01 erupted for 67 points in the second half, a tournament record. Along with Carter’s 27, Corliss Williamson added 20 and Antonio Davis started a new double-double streak with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Mark Jackson chipped in with a tournament record 14 assists.

Defense was a problem for 04-05 in Game 2. They allowed 00-01 to shoot an incredible 60% from the floor and were outrebounded 52-36.

Chris Bosh led 04-05 with 26 points and added 8 rebounds. Rafer Alston had 20, while Jalen Rose chipped in 19.

Game Notes: Along with his 20 points, Williamson chipped in 9 rebounds and 5 assists…After 14 points in the opener, Milt Palacio had only 5 in Game 2…Jackson has 24 assists in the first two games of the series…Attendance at the ACC was 20,017…Eric Williams, of all people, led 04-05 with 6 assists…Loren Woods and Rafael Araujo were back in foul trouble, picking up nine in a collective 32 minutes of play. Araujo was even whistled for a foul in the pre-game warmup.

Game 3: 2000-01 Toronto 112 at 2004-05 Toronto 121

Chris Bosh led seven players in double figures with 21 points as 2004-05 took a 2-1 series lead with a 121-112 victory over 2000-01.

04-05 came out with their best offensive game of the tournament, showing 00-01 that they could play the uptempo game as well. Coach Sam Mitchell instructed point guard Rafer Alston to run at all times and Alston responded with an 11 assist, 1 turnover game.

Vince Carter led 00-01 with 32 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overcome 04-05’s frenetic pace.

“We just didn’t have the horses”, proclaimed Carter.

“We tried to run them like in Game 2, but they were on to us.”

04-05 led 62-51 at the half and cruised the rest of the way, despite allowing an alarming 41 points in the fourth quarter.

Lamond and Tracy Murray went mano-a-mano in the second half, with Lamond dropping 12 and Tracy pouring in 11. Tracy, however, picked up five fouls while guarding Lamond, leading to Lamond proclaiming that “he’s about to drop 40 like Acie Earl”.

Game Notes: Two double-doubles in the game, one for each team: Antonio Davis had 12 and 10 for 00-01, while Donyell Marshall chipped in 10 and 11 for 04-05…Check that: Alston also had a double-double, with 15 points and 11 assists…Matt Bonner poured in 8 points off the bench in the fourth quarter…The 00-01 frontcourt was in foul trouble all night, as Davis and Keon Clark fouled out, while Murray and Charles Oakley each had five…Las Vegas bookmakers lost their shirts again, as the total flew over the posted line of 199.5…Raptorshq.com was honoured at halftime for their ongoing support of the organization.

Game 4: 2000-01 Toronto 93 at 2004-05 Toronto 96

Chris Bosh scored eleven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and a critical basket by Loren Woods sparked the 04-05 squad to a 96-93 victory over 00-01, putting 2004-05 on the verge of a monumental upset.

With 1:10 to go in the fourth quarter, Corliss Williamson took a crisp, behind-the-back, pass from Charles Oakley and bulled his way past Woods for the lay-in, giving 00-01 a one-point lead.

On the ensuing possession, Bosh knocked down a ten-footer to recapture the lead for 04-05, but that would be short-lived. Oakley would take a pass from Mark Jackson and knock down the 14-foot jumper to put 00-01 up by one with 38 seconds remaining.

04-05 floor general Rafer Alston would then find Woods on a backdoor cut. Woods’ emphatic jam put 04-05 up 94-93 with 29 seconds to go. Oakley would miss an open jumper on the next possession and Bosh converted the two free throws after corralling the rebound and being fouled. After Keon Clark missed badly on a three-pointer at the buzzer, 04-05 took a 3-1 series lead.

Game Notes: Alston struggled from the floor, going just 1-9. However, he did pitch in a game-high 14 assists….Vince Carter led all scorers with 27 in a losing effort…Jalen Rose once again paced 04-05 with 24…Antonio Davis returned to form with a huge game, pouring in 22 points and adding a game-high 14 rebounds…Clark also had a double-double, with 12 points and 13 rebounds…After his game 3 proclamation, Lamond Murray had a mere 2 points…Murray was also involved in a curious post-game incident, which saw Kevin O’Neill escorted from the 04-05 dressing room.

Game 5: 2004-05 Toronto 98 at 2000-01 Toronto 83

Call them the Cardiac Kids. Call them Team Spoiler.

For the second straight series, the 2004-05 Raptors have knocked off a higher seed, this time disposing of the top-seeded 2000-01 squad in five games after winning Game 5 98-83.

04-05 used a 41 point fourth quarter to pull away from 00-01 and secure the first berth in the Greatest Raptors Team Tournament championship final.

Trailing 70-69 with 6:40 remaining in the fourth, the 04-05 squad reeled off a 15-4 run and cruised the rest of the way to win easily. The run was emblematic of the series for 04-05, as six different players scored.

Jalen Rose led 04-05 with 17 points, while Vince Carter poured in 24 in a losing effort to lead all scorers.

After the game, Chris Bosh was named the series MVP after averaging 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the series. His performance in the fourth quarter of game 4 sealed the deal in the voters’ eyes.

Carter led all scorers with 25.4 points per game. Antonio Davis pulled down a series-high 12 rebounds per game, to go along with his 18 points per game. Mark Jackson (9.6) edged Rafer Alston (9.0) for the series assist title.

Game Notes: Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the tournament in ten games. In the other game, he had 20 points and 9 rebounds…Bosh (16-11) and Charles Oakley (14-11) also contributed double-double efforts…Both teams were an abysmal 4-17 from three-point land…04-05 had the free throw advantage, shooting 47 to 00-01’s 18…00-01 was 17-18 from the charity stripe…An amusing moment came at the end of the third quarter when Andrew Lacas of Toronto took part in an Air Canada promotion. Eschewing the layup, which would have earned him a trip to New York, he went for the three-pointer, which would have netted him a trip to Greece. He decided to shoot from the corner, right in front of the 00-01 bench. Unfortunately, his shot was blocked by Mamadou N’diaye.

First Round:
#1 2000-01 4, #8 2002-03 1
#7 1996-97 4, #2 1999-00 0
#3 2001-02 4, #6 2003-04 0
#5 2004-05 4, #4 1998-99 3