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News » Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-01-30

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-01-30

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-01-30
It's never too early to scoreboard-watch.

Despite being weeks away from the All-Star break and only just past the halfway point of the regular season, the Raptors are already watching what's going on above them in the Eastern Conference standings.

And with their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks, a team above them in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot, what could be considered another meaningless game in a long season of them takes on some extra juice.

"It was the first thing we addressed (Wednesday)," coach Jay Triano said after Tuesday's practice. "Where we are, where they are and what this week means to us."

Where the Raptors are is 19-28 and in 13th place in the 15-team Eastern Conference. But they've already lost once to the Bucks in Milwaukee and were beaten at home by Chicago. And it's not as if Toronto's been steamrolling opposition with marginally better records.

"We look at the standings and we know how important this week is," said Triano. "I hate to look at (the) outcome; I want us to keep playing the way we have been. We've been playing well and if we can finish the season playing the way we've been playing, we won't even have to look at who's ahead of us or who's behind us because we will have climbed up."

Consistency has been Toronto's biggest weakness this season, though, and the Raptors have never won more than three in a row this season, seemingly incapable so far of getting on a tear and moving up in the standings.

RAPTORS 107, NETS 106: Devin Harris missed a wide-open jumper at the final buzzer to allow the Raptors to steal a victory, their third in a row and second in two games in the Izod Center here this year.

Harris, isolated on the wing, made a nifty move on Chris Bosh, stepped back for an open look that never had a chance, glancing off the right side of the rim.

The Raptors were sparked by an excellent outing from Joey Graham, who played most of the second half at power forward in a small Toronto lineup that included only one of the group of Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani or Jermaine O'Neal at any time.

Graham had 15 points, including seven free throws, in his most aggressive game of the last half dozen. And just as important, he had five rebounds and was a presence inside.

Anthony Parker led Toronto with 21 points while Vince Carter had 27 for New Jersey, but only 11 in the final three quarters.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 30, 2009


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