Toronto (9-17) at Houston (11-13)

Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Mon Dec 20, 2004
  • TV: RNET, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Toronto Raptors look to build on their first win since trading Vince Carter as they visit the Houston Rockets.

Toronto traded Carter to the New Jersey Nets on Friday for Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Alonzo Mourning and two first-round draft picks. Carter, who had spent his entire seven-season career in Toronto, had been vocal about his desire to be traded.

The Raptors lost 89-86 to the Indiana Pacers on Friday in their first game without their star swingman, but rebounded with a 110-99 win over the Nets on Sunday.

“When people think of the Toronto Raptors they think of Vince Carter, and now it’s going to be up to other guys to step up and show what they can do,” said Morris Peterson, who had a team-high 20 points.

The Williamses did not play in either game, but sat in the stands behind Toronto’s bench on Sunday. The trade is not expected to be finalized until noon Monday. Mourning might never play for Toronto because of various injuries.

Lamond Murray, who should see more playing time with Carter’s departure, scored 18 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter—his highest-scoring game for the Raptors.

“Now everybody gets an opportunity. It’s not really one guy now,” Murray said. ”’MoPete’ has now stepped into the starting spot at the two. His role is definitely going to increase.”

Coach Sam Mitchell has not officially announced who will start when the Williamses join the team.

The Rockets are coming off Saturday’s 101-100 overtime loss to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats—just their second defeat in seven games. Tracy McGrady scored a game-high 29 points for Houston, which blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead.

“We lost the game on turnovers and bad fouls in the fourth quarter,” coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “I’m very disappointed in the way we played.”

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