Raptors 94, Clippers 88

Preview | Box Score | Recap

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Vince Carter took over on offense and took a charge on defense to help Toronto win in the West for the first time in almost 13 months.

Carter scored seven of his 22 points in the final 3:44 and drew a key late offensive foul on Quentin Richardson to lead the Raptors past the Los Angeles Clippers 94-88 Sunday.

Carter had a short running jumper, a three-point play and a 20-foot fadeaway for a 90-85 lead with 1:02 left.

The Clippers staged a last-minute rally as Richardson hit a layup and Elton Brand blocked a shot by Alvin Williams, but a layup by Richardson was waved off as he was called for an offensive foul against Carter. Williams sank three of four free throws in the final 17.6 seconds to ice it.

“It was kind of brave of me, I think, because I tried to take a charge on the play before that and they called it a block,” Carter said. “Then the guy came right back through the lane, so I thought I’d try it again. I felt like I was in position, so I was just going to stand there and hope for the best.”

The Raptors snapped an 18-game road losing streak against Western Conference opponents and ended the Clippers’ five-game home winning streak. Toronto hadn’t won in the West since Dec. 1, 2002 at Memphis.

Jalen Rose had 23 points and Donyell Marshall added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who won their first five games after the Dec. 1 trade that brought Rose and Donyell Marshall from Chicago. The Raptors have won only two of eight since.

“As long as we stay healthy, we’re going to keep improving,” Rose said.

“Obviously, we’re not a team that a lot of people are talking about right now, but the great thing about our situation is that our players aren’t going anywhere.”

Richardson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles and Elton Brand added 14 points and 13 boards. It was the first time this season that two players had a double-double for the Clippers in the same game.

After Carter’s layup gave the Raptors a five-point lead with nine minutes remaining, Clippers rookie Chris Kaman hit a short hook shot, then stripped Carter of the ball on an attempted driving layup. It resulted in a breakaway dunk by Richardson that reduced Toronto’s lead to 76-75 with 8:16 to play.

Chris Wilcox hit a layup 35 seconds later and Doug Overton made a baseline jumper to give Los Angeles a 79-76 edge, but Toronto pulled ahead for good at 83-81 on a layup by Marshall with 4:23 left.

“We talked in here about taking it personally that we were the “JV” game here today,” said Rose, who had to dress quickly so that the Boston Celtics could occupy the visiting locker room for their Staples Center nightcap against the Lakers. “We knew there was another game tonight, so we wanted to put on agood showing and find a way to win.”

Notes

Raptors reserve F Lamond Murray, who spent his first five NBA seasons with the Clippers, was a late scratch because of back spasms. … When the Clippers franchise began as the Buffalo Braves in the early 1970s, they played 16 home games in Toronto and were 11-5. … With the score tied at 56-all, Toronto rookie Chris Bosh was blocked by Brand on an attempted layup. But Brand was called for a foul on the play, and was hit with a technical after slamming the ball in a rare display of anger. … Bosh, the fourth overall pick in the draft, missed his first five shots and finished with seven points in 33minutes. … No Clipper has had more than eight assists in a game.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Toronto
V. Carter V. Carter
7-16,  22 Pts
4 Rebs, 5 Assists
 LA Clippers
E. Brand E. Brand
6-12,  14 Pts
13 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists