Toronto Raptors sophomore wing Terrence Ross broke out the NBA ready skill that Head Coach Dwane Casey has said was there since the team drafted him and exploded for a franchise tying 51 points in a shootout loss to the Clippers 126-118 at the Air Canada Centre.
On February 27, 2000, Vince Carter scored 51 points and collected 9 rebounds for the Raptors in a 103-102 win over the Suns at the Air Canada Centre and Ross came within a missed free throw with 4 seconds left of surpassing this long held scoring mark.
It was a career night for Ross across numerous statistical categories:
Category Old Career High This Game
Minutes 39 44
Points 26 51 franchise high
FGM 10 16
FGA 17 29
3FGM 7 10
3FGA 11 17
FTM 4 9
FTA 6 10
Rebounds 9 9
This was Ross’ night right from the start. He hit 2 three-pointers in the first 3 minutes and was 5-6 from deep in the first quarter. The assault from the land beyond kept going from there as Ross also set a new franchise high with 7 three-pointers for a half. He had 23 points at the break.
“For the fans it was a great exhibition of basketball,” Casey said. “The young man Terrence (Ross) picked it up – we lose DeMar when he hurts his ankle – (Ross) put on a heck of a display. He not only had 51 points. He had 9 rebounds which was huge too.”
The Raptors didn’t have any idea just how badly they were going to need Ross’ scoring in this game. At the 7:52 mark of the second quarter, Hedo Turkoglu slide under DeMar DeRozan on a jump shot and DeRozan landed on Turkoglu’s foot. After a full timeout, DeRozan took his free throws and stayed in the game, but after x-rays during half-time and trying to give it a go in the third quarter, DeRozan left the game for good and is scheduled for further tests.
“The x-rays were negative,” Casey said. “But, it is a little bit swollen, so hopefully he can go (play Brooklyn on Monday), but we will have to wait and see tomorrow.”
To make matters worse for Toronto, in the third quarter Blake Griffin broke Patrick Patterson’s nose he dived towards Patterson bringing his head, arms and ball up into Patterson’s face.
“Patrick, his nose is broken,” Casey confirmed. “Griffin came through with a forearm and got him – and (Patterson) got the foul. He can go (on Monday) – probably will have to wear a mask to play.”
The Raptors were tied with the Clippers after three-quarters at 93 points when Ross hit the very long distance heave as time expired.
In recent games, it has been DeRozan who has taken over the fourth quarter scoring for the Raptors and they could have used the extra firepower in this game. The Clippers outscored Toronto 33-25 in the fourth to win.
“It was an incredible offensive display on their part,” Casey said. It wasn’t like our guys weren’t giving effort at the defensive end. They made some tough shots.”
Jamaal Crawford had an amazing night, matching Ross’ scoring in the first half with 26 points of his own and finishing the game with a 37 point 11 assist double-double. The Raptors simply couldn’t find anyone that could effectively guard him.
Griffin dominated as well with 30 points and J.J. Redick, who was in and out of the game with back issues, scored 18 points.
The Raptors other sophomore Jonas Valanciunas had a 17 point 12 rebound double-double and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 12 assists.
The Atlantic Division leading Raptors head to Brooklyn to play the Division’s second place Nets in a very important game on Monday.
The Clippers finished their 7-game Eastern Conference road trip in Milwaukee on Monday.