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Raptors look fierce against Clips

Raptors look fierce against Clips
Where Amazing Happens, indeed.

Anthony Parker blocking shots like he was Bill Russell.

Jose Calderon dunking like a Spanish Dr. J.

Jake Voskuhl starting and being part of the strongest rebounding effort of the season.

Patrick O'Bryant endearing himself to hungry fans with one of three shots he hit in six minutes - the one that earned a slab of free pizza for fans clamouring for it - an unprecedented offensive output for the seldom-used big man.

One hundred field goal attempts in a game for the first time since 2001 to make Sam Mitchell smile wherever he may be, because the former coach had set that as a benchmark during his tenure.

Yes, the NBA: Where Amazing Happens when you least expect it.

In an otherwise drab game between two teams playing out the string, one that seemed interested and another looking like it was summer already, there were enough oddities to give the fans something to chat about until the next time the Raptors play.

A 100-76 victory over the pathetic Los Angeles Clippers yesterday - the most lopsided of the 24 wins Toronto now has this season - will not be memorable for much more than the few strange things that will make up the highlights.

Parker swatted a couple of shots, the most he has had in a game since last April, a stat that made him justifiably proud in a light-hearted post-game conversation.

"They better not try to take it away, either," he said. "You know, they review. The LeBron (James) rebound, they took that away (robbing the Cavs star of a triple-double in game earlier this month in New York). It was definitely me."

And Calderon had his second dunk in three games, an emphatic slam after a third-quarter steal.

"I've got like two in the last week," he said. "I'm healthy and feeling better. I can dunk, I used to dunk when I was younger in Spain."

And the Raptors, missing Andrea Bargnani due to a sore Achilles tendon, grabbed 57 rebounds, the most they've had in a game this season, and with a plus-17 edge on the boards the greatest rebounding differential of the year as well.

"It was nice to get back on the winning track," said guard Roko Ukic. "I mean, obviously, it has been a very tough season for us, especially after the all-star break."

It also helped that the Clippers mailed in the effort from the opening tip. In a game that made the 24-45 Raptors look at times like championship contenders, L.A. was downright despicable for moments, shooting just 38 per cent from the field, allowing the Raps to do whatever they wanted and hardly competing from the start.

"I'm disappointed," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, who had every right to be. "I thought we got outworked."

It was a good, old-fashioned drubbing by a team that had lost nine of its last 10 and was searching for some semblance of fun.

"Any win for us right now is great regardless of who we're playing or what the situation is," said Shawn Marion, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds. "It's a win for us and you can see the life of everyone in here."

How long that life lasts remains to be seen as the Raps finish the homestand against Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and Chicago - all teams that will treat games more seriously than the Clippers did yesterday.

But, for one day, it was okay to crow a little bit.

"It's always good," said Raptors star Chris Bosh.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 23, 2009


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