Toronto 100, LA Clippers 86

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TORONTO (TICKER) —The Toronto Raptors slumbered their way through the first half of their matinee with the Los Angeles Clippers, but reserve Voshon Lenard provided the wakeup call.

Lenard scored 23 of his season-high 30 points in the second half as the Raptors posted a 100-86 victory.

Lenard was scoreless in four minutes in the first quarter, when Toronto was held to a season-low 14 points. But he scored 11 points in the third period, when the Raptors tallied a season-high 35 points and took a 71-67 lead.

“We came in a little tight and they played well,” Lenard said. “I thought we played a lot better in the second half. When we have somebody with a hot hand, we continue to feed him. That was the tone in the third and fourth quarter.”

The reserve guard forged a 57-57 tie with a jumper with 3:34 left in the third. After a three-point play by Los Angeles’ Corey Maggette, Lenard drained an 18-footer.

Andre Miller restored the Clippers’ three-point lead, but Lenard hit another jumper, made two free throws and nailed a 3-pointer to give the Raptors a 66-62 advantage with 75 seconds remaining in the quarter.

In the fourth period, Lenard scored seven points during a 13-7 run that put Toronto ahead, 84-74, with 8:13 left.

Lamar Odom’s three-point play pulled Los Angeles within 84-77 with 7:17 to go, but the Raptors answered with a 13-2 spurt, capped by Vince Carter’s jumper with 3:49 left, to take their largest lead, 97-79.

“We have to take care of the little things in order to win games, and we haven’t done a good job this year of doing that,” Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said. “But the bottom line is they went to Voshon Lenard and we couldn’t guard him.

“We didn’t do a very good job on him, and it wasn’t running off screens or anything like that. Basically they just isolated us and we didn’t do a good job of defending him.”

Lenard finished 9-of-16 from the field, hitting four 3-pointers, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line in 33 minutes.

“Voshon Lenard played a great game,” Maggette said. “He played tough and hit shots. It was one of those nights a real good shooter of his caliber hits big shots.”

It was the most bench points in franchise history for the Raptors, whose reserves have outscored their opponents in three of four games since the return of Carter and Michael Bradley on January 26 against Sacramento.

Bradley had all eight of his points and 11 rebounds in the second half Sunday as Toronto’s bench outscored Los Angeles’, 47-15.

“That’s what I try to bring every game,” Bradley said of his second-half production. “Obviously, in the first half, I got a couple of minutes and didn’t do anything with my minutes then. But I came back in and just tried to crash the boards.”

“I think Michael Bradley was their next best player on the floor,” Gentry said. “He had 11 rebounds, but I thought he kept so many balls alive for them and they ended up getting second shots on it.”

Jerome Williams added 16 points and nine rebounds and Carter contributed 14 points for the Raptors, who extended their home winning streak to a season-high three games. They have won three of their last four overall since a five-game losing streak.

Maggette and Odom each scored 19 points and Elton Brand had 17 and 19 rebounds, but the Clippers opened a four-game road trip with their fifth loss in six games.

“Voshon Lenard really got hot,” Brand said. “I think when a player scores 30 points, he is going to be the difference in a lot of games. I mean, he is coming off the bench and dropping 30.

“We played great defense on him and we helped on him. He just hit some big shots and he was doing that when a lot of guys were hurting, and he is still doing it.”

Los Angeles fell to 1-7 in Toronto and 7-15 on the road this season.

Antonio Davis had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Raptors, who shot 47 percent (41-of-88). They were outrebounded 20-7 in the first quarter but finished with just three fewer boards (47-44).

Miller scored 14 points for the Clippers, but Sean Rooks - staring at center in place of the injured Michael Olowokandi - went 0-of-6 from the field and managed just two points and four rebounds.

Los Angeles shot 39.5 percent (30-of-76) and fell to 0-12 when recording a lower field goal percentage than an opponent on the road.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 LA Clippers
E. Brand E. Brand
7-17,  17 Pts
19 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Toronto
A. Williams A. Williams
4-9,  9 Pts
2 Rebs, 9 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists