In one of the wildest games of the weekend, the Toronto Raptors shocked the Houston Rockets by a score of 103-96.
The win for the Raptors comes just days after the news that star center Andrea Bargnani injured his elbow and would miss up to three weeks, according to Emiliano Carchia:
Andrea Bargnani to Gazzetta.it: 'I will miss at least three weeks. We are the worst team in the NBA'— Emiliano Carchia (@SportandoBasket) December 14, 2012
Taking the bad news in stride, Toronto defended its home court in spectacular fashion.
Led by the elite play of a backcourt made up of point guard Jose Calderon (18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (19 points), as well as the bench play of Alan Anderson (24 points), the Raptors proved that they are by far not the worst team in the league.
Houston made it an interesting game with a strong fourth quarter, but the Raptors refused to relinquish their lead and finished off the road team in excellent fashion.
While Rockets fans should be disappointed by the effort, this was an early game on the road and the team won't look too much into the outcome of the game.
Player of the Game: James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
Despite the loss, the player of the game has to be Rockets star shooting guard James Harden.
After being acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder to be the complement to free agent acquisition Jeremy Lin, many fans questioned whether the young star would be able to flourish as a primary focus of an offense.
With 28 points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block against Toronto, Harden is proving to be quite the addition for the Rockets.
As long as Lin continues to develop into a potential star, the Rockets will continue to be very dangerous for a long time.
Up Next for Houston Rockets
The emergence of Harden and Lin as true NBA stars is an ongoing process that continues every game for the Houston Rockets. With so much raw talent and young prospects around them, Houston will be a very dangerous team heading into the playoffs.
The Rockets have eight games to close out 2012, and they are not easy. With games against winning teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks and others over the next two weeks, Houston will face its ultimate test.
Up Next for Toronto Raptors
With the injury to Bargnani (elbow), the Toronto Raptors are very thin in the frontcourt and that will hurt them on their upcoming stretch of games.
Despite five of the next six games being against subpar talent, the Raptors don’t have the defensive prowess to give themselves a chance to win.
Toronto fans should be hoping for a .500 record at best over the next six games.
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