After losing countless close games this season the Raps finally got one back.
Jalen Rose's shot with 0.4 seconds left in overtime gave the Raps a much needed home win last night over the Sacramento Kings, 124-123. In a game that featured very little defence Rose redeemed himself for only hitting 3 of his 13 shots and playing some lax defence that got him pulled in favour of Pape Sow on some key possessions.
Rose's shot won the game but Mo Pete had his best game in weeks with 23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. His driving layup near the end of regulation helped get the Raps to OT after blowing an 11 point lead late in the game and his huge defensive rebound over 2 Kings gave the Raps a key stop to overcome the loss of Chris Bosh.
Bosh was ejected near the start of overtime for arguing a call which resulted in his sixth foul. At the time Sacramento not only scored the basket but hit the foul shot and technical giving them a six point lead. With Bosh gone and the Raptors in disarray it looked like another blown win opportunity for Toronto. But Mike James took the team on his shoulders scoring 5 straight to get them back in the mix giving Jalen a chance to be the eventual hero.
As mentioned, this was not much of a defensive matchup as both teams allowed guards to drive to the basket with ease. Ron Artest, in his second game in a Kings uniform was solid scoring 24 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. And Mike Bibby hit huge shot after shot to lead the Kings back in this one and he finished with 42 on the night.
Statistically the Raptors allowed the Kings to shoot almost 50 per cent, were outrebounded 51-37, and gave the Kings 46 FREE THROW OPPORTUNITIES which they made 38 of. And even though the Raptors had a few more assists it was the complete absence of bench play from Sacramento that did them in. A team that only a few years ago had the luxury of bringing players like Bobby Jackson and Gerald Wallace into a game now has to rely on the likes of Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia. Solid all-around games by Joey Graham, Matt Bonner, Jose Calderon and especially Charlie Villanueva (18 points and 7 rebounds) gave the Raptors a huge lift and ended up getting the Raps the win in this late night affair.
More importantly, with the lingering spectre of the Babcock affair, and after getting lambasted by Milwaukee on Friday night, it was INCREDIBLY important to stop the bleeding and get a win. With only two more games this week against the Wizards and Knicks, Toronto can go into some practice time upbeat and attempt to start February with a few wins.