Thursday , Mar , 01 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Raptors down Rockets

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Rookie Andrea Bargnani scored 20 points to
lead a balanced Toronto attack as the Raptors downed Houston, 106-90, at the
Toyota Center.

T.J. Ford added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Atlantic
Division-leading Raptors, who are now four games ahead of the idle New Jersey
Nets. Kris Humphries also had 16 points and six rebounds, while Jose Calderon
finished with 14 points and six assists.

“Today we moved the ball very good, so I had a lot of open looks,” said
Bargnani. “Some days your shot is good, some days it is not. Today was good.”

Tracy McGrady returned after missing a game with flu-like symptoms to score 22
points for the Rockets, who lost for the fourth time in six games. Shane
Battier tallied 16 points, while Rafer Alston contributed 12 points.

“I think we just have to re-commit ourselves for the remainder of the season,”
said McGrady. “I think we kind of got away from doing what makes us good.
We’re not rebounding, not defending, we’re not doing the little things that
make us a good team.”

Toronto entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead and quickly put the
game away.

A 10-0 run. featuring six points by Calderon, put the Raptors up by 19, 95-76,
with just 7:18 left.

The Rockets never recovered and Toronto coasted to the finish line for the
easy win.

The Raptors took a 27-21 advantage after the opening 12 minutes and took
control of the game with a wonderful second quarter.

Toronto outscored the Rockets 40-26 in the frame to take a 20-point advantage
at halftime, 67-47. Toronto shot a sizzling 80 percent in the second quarter
and 69 percent in the half.

Houston rebounded a bit early in the third quarter. The Rockets opened the
stanza with a 13-3 run, capped by a Battier three to draw within 10 points,
70-60, with a little over seven minutes left.

The two teams traded baskets from there and the Raptors took a 79-68 edge into
the final frame.

Game Notes

Toronto is now 12-18 on the road…Houston is 20-9 at the Toyota Center this
year…The Rockets never held a lead for the first time this year…The
Raptors’ bench outscored Houston, 61-32 in the game.