Both teams started very slowly. It was 4-4 after over 3 minutes played. This was painful to watch and that is not taking a shot on the fact this game was on TSN 2. Joey Graham a silly turnover but Good Joey would try to kill Bad Joey with a quick recovery and a steal. He would get fouled and sent to the line. Split a pair from the line and J.O would score to tie the game at 7. This is called the All Starless edition but David West is and he scored and Antonio Daniels would get a steal and score to give the Hornets an 11-7 lead. Bargnani would drive and draw the foul. Bargnani can only manage to split a pair. Peja the other way makes a 3 pointer. Andrea Bargnani makes a jumper in response. But David West was able to reply for the bugs. They had a 16-10 lead on their home floor. Posey had a wide open look for 3 more but he would miss it. He would get a second chance and post up every ones new favourite Raptor except me Joey G and score. Peja would score again. The main weapon for the Raptors had been J.O. He scored again and I think that was 8 for him. But David West had another answer for the Hornets. The Hornets with no Paul, no problem up 23-16. Kapono had checked in and missed not much new there. Parker shot blocked, Raps keep it, and Bargnani turns it over on a travel. A Joey buzzer beater does not fall and Raptors look awful down 26-16.
Hornets start the quarter with a travel. A foul on J.O that caused some discussion between Jake Voskhul and Bosh. However foul it was and Hornets made a pair at the line. Kapono a rare 3 pointer but James Posey answer with a 3 of his own. A turnover for the Raps. But Hornets get called for a travel and give it back. But no dice and Posey had a long 2 pointer and 10 so far in the game. Hornets lead was more than that though it was 33-19. Calderon missed a 3 pointer and had been not that impactful in his return to the line up so far. He would get fouled next time down the floor and head to the line makes both and had just 2 assists so far. I call out Calderon and he suddenly comes alive as he get the ball and pushes it for the lay up in transition. Raptors had cut the lead to 8. Calderon would make a jumper and cut it to 6. I am starting to think the Raptors just need me to get on players in Dino Nation Blog and good things will happen. Joey Graham is the best example of it working. Calderon heading to the line looking for more to stick it to the Dino Blogger. Calderon second foul shooting streak of season ends early as he went 1 of 2. But still Calderon had lead the Raptors back to cut the lead to just 5.
Jamario Moon another guy that has not been in my good books. He showed a little of the Moon I use to love with the jam on the break set up by Jose. Raptors were on a 9-3 run after Parker would score and Calderon would score off of a steal. Raptors showing some signs of life now trailing 38-34. AP would cut the lead to just 1 with a 3 ball. The Raptors were playing the zone on defense and were doing well in that set up. Calderon would make a jumper and Raptors had a lead at 39-38. Hornets looked lost they had 8 turnovers and Bargnani made them pay. Raptors had a 23-5 run going that had rocketed them back to a 3 point lead. Bargnani would follow up with another big shot making a 3 pointer. Calderon would score and he had 13 points in the quarter. He was the big reason the Raptors had a 48-42.
So let's review one lousy quarter of basketball and one out of this world quarter of basketball. Which Raptor team shows up in the 3rd. I have no idea. This team has been the most erratic group of Raptors I can remember. Raptors were shooting 55% and Hornets were making many mistakes. Good start as Bargnani scores in the paint and his fouled for the and 1. He would miss it but O'Neal would get a score and Raptors up 10 with score 52-42 for the men in black tonight. Hornets would get a score but J.O would answer and he had 12 points. Hornets were a team that was having trouble with injuries not just Paul add Chandler and Mo Peterson to that list. However Paul is the guy that makes it all happen. Remember the old Suns teams with out Steve Nash. This Hornets team looks a lot like that. Crowds boo in other arenas as well as Hornets were getting booed for a bad effort. Calderon would make a jumper. Peja would get the crowd back on the Hornets side with a 3 pointer. Daniels would score and Raptors lead that was once 10 was now trimmed to 6 points with score 59-53.
J.O gets to the line and makes a pair to push the Raptors lead to 8. On the other end he would give a point back with a defensive 3 second call that Peja would turn into a point at the line. Butler had a monster jam. Lead was 5 and Bargnani called for a charge lead to a Daniels bucket. Hornets were charging. Raptors lead was now just 61-58. A shot clock violation and the Hornets had a chance to pull to just down 1 or tie with a 3 pointer. But Daniels would miss and J.O would have a chance to score and miss as well. Jamario Moon made a good choice taking a jumper for a change. However Peja would answer with a 3 ball. But Moon scored for another 2 points Raptors were up 4 with score 65-61. Jake Voskhul with a rare attempt that he missed badly. Peja makes the Raptors pay at the other end with a 3 ball. Peja was 3-3 from behind the arc in the quarter. Parker would score a 2 point effort and that would extend the lead to 3. Hornets had a shot clock violation and Raptors had a chance to extend lead again but did not. James Posey would get called for a foul banging on the glass sending Jamario Moon to the line. Moon made both and he had 10 and Raptors had a 69-64 lead. So the Raptors have held off a Hornet charge in the quarter and took a lead into the 4th quarter.
Peja opens the 4th with a basket and Parker missed the Raptors first effort of the quarter. A.P would hook up J.O for the basket plus the foul with AP running the show at the point. JO made the and one and Raptors lead was 6. Peja on fire with his 6th long bomb of night that cut lead to 3, Butler with another 3 ball and it was all tied at 72. Jake Voskhul with a rare basket to give the Raptors the lead back. Parker would make his way to the line. He would make both and Raptors lead 76-72.
Jake Voskhul fouled James Posey and he could only split a pair at the line. J.O with a strong move and a dunk and Raptor lead was stretched to 5 points. David West to the line for the Hornets and made both. Joey Graham got a key offensive board on a night where he had not been so good. But that was and it lead to a J.O score plus a foul. Raptor lead was back to a half dozen with the score 81-75. J.O was rolling without Bosh on the floor he makes a jumper and he had 24 as the Raptors lead increased to 8 points. A much needed runner in the lane for Brown for the Hornets. Bargnani had to fire up a shot to avoid shot clock violation but it would not fall. Butler would come back and make a 3 pointer and the Hornets were back to just 3 down. James Posey would even the score at 83 with yet another 3 pointer. Make it 3 straight long balls and Hornets had an 11-0 run and the lead with score 86-83. Hornets were 5-8 behind the arc in the 4th so far. A turnover on a travel by Andrea Bargnani in the paint. 4 straight three pointers the latest by James Posey. This was a joke. Peja makes it 5 straight possessions with a 3 pointer. Hornets lead 92-83 . Bargnani with a basket from distance. Posey missed a 3 ball as the clock rolled past 2 minutes to play. Raptors can't take advantage as they get called for a travel. Raptors had 17 turnovers after it was the Hornets making turnovers in the first half. Parker gets a basket only to have Brown answer with you know what is coming by now...a 3 ball. Hornets have a 10 point advantage and this thing was done. Kapono makes a 3 pointer but this game was finished. Hornets walk away with a 101-92 victory. The Hornets had 37 points in the 4th powered by the 3 point shot.
As I am required to do by law your boxscore of this basketball game. Well not really but it would not be right to leave it out.
So Raptors losers of 5 straight limp off to Memphis to take on a team that is pretty brutal in the Grizzlies. That being said why do I not feel confident they can snap this losing streak. Maybe it is just experience at this point. But hey get excited the wonderful folks at TSN have moved this game over to the main network so everyone can see just has bad things have become for the Raptors. Gee WIZ THANK YOU TSN. WAS A HOCKEY GAME CANCELLED THAT I AM NOT AWARE OF? I am growing more bitter and sarcastic as the season marches on. I am not sure if that is good or bad. Well that is a Rap for this game and does anyone out there think it is not a wrap for the season? If you do leave a comment and tell me why I would love to hear it. I have no idea why anyone would think that.