I would have to say as a fan of the Toronto Raptors that I would rather have Derek Fisher taking an open eight foot jump shot than Kobe Bryant (32 pts, 6 rb, 6 ast) fading away with four hands in his face from 18ft when the game is on the line. Kobe I was up until 1:30 am watching that game and I hate you because you’re amazing. Lakers win 109-107.
The game was definitely an enjoyable one. There were a few lead changes and a strong second quarter by the Raptors saw them leading going into the fourth. But of course the fourth quarter belongs to the Lakers and after some back and forth play the Lakers took control.
The Raptors got into some foul trouble early and their defense faltered and the rest is history. You have to hand it to them though because they really stuck with a much better team. It was anyone’s game.
Of course the Raps didn't play a perfect game.
Toronto really had problems was under the net. They have no answer for players like Andrew Bynum (22 pts, 6 rbs). When Bynum received a pass in the low post then two went on the board or he went to the line. There was nothing they could do to stop him. Andrea Bargnani (21 pts, 8 rbs) has shown flashes of good post defense this season but he needs help when it comes to stopping stronger centers and it just wasn’t there.
Really this game was kept close more because of the Lakers lack of defense then anything else. In the first half LA players just seemed so reluctant to stick to their man on the perimeter. Watching those open shot fall as the Raptors finished the first half 7-10 from three-point range while shooting 67 percent in the second quarter you just knew it wasn’t going to keep up and it didn’t.
Toronto shot just 2-12 from long range in the second half finishing the game just shy of 45 percent from the field. Turning an 8pt lead into a shot for shot affair ending with Kobe and yet another game winner.
The only thing that really kept Toronto alive in the second half was Jarrett Jack's great play in the third quarter. Scoring over half Toronto’s points in the frame on his way to 18 pts, 7 ast, 7 rbs. I hope he can keep up that kind of performance going into the postseason.
I love close games and I hate when they don't go my way but I think the worst part about the way the game ended had to be the waste of the absolutely clutch shot made by Chris Bosh (22 pts, 7 rb, 4 ast).
If Bosh’s superstar status was not enough of a reason to put the ball in his hands when it counts, then that shot should seal the deal from now on. Putting it up from 26 ft with only 17 attempts from behind the arch all season—fantastic. Even the Lakers play by play announcer knew where Toronto should be putting the ball in the dying seconds.
Good job Chris Bosh, that was a great play and you are a great player.
All said and done this was a great game and the best game of the evening. Two great games this season split 1-1 between the Lakers and Raptors. Two games going down to the dying seconds. One where Kobe is the goat the other where he is the hero.
Odds are strongly against this being a finals preview, but who knows one can dream.
One thing is for sure this game was more proof that Toronto has a problem with playing to their opponent skill level. They wouldn’t have lost that game to Philly at home if they played and cared that much every game.
Up next the Kings.