The Raps' bench mob

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

HOUSTON -- All that talk about learning from their mistakes turned out to be a lot more than just talk.

The Raptors, coming off a humbling defeat in San Antonio, re-asserted themselves last night with a convincing 106-90 win over the Houston Rockets.

That ball movement that somehow had disappeared against the Spurs was back last night. The Raptors scored on open look after open look in the early going to build a 20-point lead by halftime.

Things got a little iffy in the third as the Rockets temporarily flashed the solid team defence that has helped them through star centre Yao Ming's lengthy absence and cut that 20-point Raptors lead down to eight before the Raptors once again began moving the ball.

Seldom-used Raptors forward Kris Humphries, who had not played more than 14 minutes in a game all year, was on the floor for just over 21 minutes last night. He responded with a breakout game in which he had a season-high 16 points, pulled down six boards and even contributed two assists.

"I thought Kris Humphries by far played he best game that he has played for us in a long time," head coach Sam Mitchell said.

Mitchell grabbed Humphries in a headlock after practice on Tuesday and told him that the kind of intensity and hustle he showed in practice would get him more court time.

Humphries said he definitely benefitted from the Raptors' improved ball movement last night.

"If you're the guy setting screens and moving to the basket, if the ball is moving, the guy who is open usually gets the rock," Humphries explained.

"That definitely helps me but everyone else too."

Also raising some eyebrows was the play of rookie Andrea Bargnani. He had one of his best games, hitting for 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting including four of five from three-point land.

But it wasn't Bargnani's offence that most impressed Mitchell.

COMFORTABLE

"I think he's comfortable. I just think he's showing how good he's going to be," Mitchell said. "But the thing I'm happy and pleased with is what he's doing defensively and rebounding. I've never had one conversation with Andrea about shooting the basketball on offence. I saw early on that he has a pretty good idea of what to do with the basketball."

Bargnani preferred to talk about the team's improvement in ball movement.

"We talked about that a lot because the two games we have not moved the ball -- Cleveland and San Antonio -- we lost the games. When we move the ball we play good. We did a great job there and on defence too."


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