If you were hoping Rudy Gay would have an immediate impact on the Toronto Raptors, then tonight's game was for you. Gay had 20 points on 8 of 16 shooting and more importantly, the Raptors, buoyed by his first appearance as a Dino, crushed the Los Angeles Clippers 98 to 73.
This one wasn't even close. After Toronto took a 22 to 17 first quarter lead, they turned things up at both ends of the court, outscoring the Clips 24 to 13 in the second quarter and never looked back. By the time the fourth quarter was halfway over, Clippers' coach Vinny Del Negro was calling for his bench for good.
Gay was a huge offensive presence but this was a truly team effort. Kyle Lowry channeled Jose Calderon to the tune of only three points but eight assists and no turnovers, DeMar DeRozan had 19 points and another great passing night contributing seven assists, and Aaron Gray (7 and 12), Terrence Ross (dunks on dunks) and John Lucas (17 points in 19 minutes) all made nice contributions in the win.
But the MVP was Amir Johnson who not only held Clippers' stud Blake Griffin to a miserable 4 of 17 shooting night, but had 19 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and a steal.
Oh...and according to the Raptors' media folks, was hawking up some serious flem pre-game, fighting off the flu.
It was one of Toronto's most impressive wins of the season as even minus Chris Paul, this is a Clippers team that should be able to manage more than 73 points. However the Toronto D was terrific, holding LA to under 35 per cent shooting from the field, keeping long-time Raptor-killers like Jamal Crawford completely in check.
And what can you say about 30 assists on 38 made field-goals?
It was truly a dominant win and hopefully one that carries over to Sunday's big match-up against the Heat.