Jinx junked

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

SACRAMENTO -- The Raptors have been waiting for Jermaine O'Neal to have a break-out game by returning to his dominant days.

It arrived last night at Arco Arena, where he abused former Indiana Pacers teammate Brad Miller.

In one of those displays that showcased O'Neal's offensive arsenal, he lifted the Raptors on to his shoulders by scoring a season-high 36 points in Toronto's 107-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

This is the same building where O'Neal scored a career-high 55 points.

It also is the same arena where the Raptors have always left empty-handed, having not won a game here in 10 years.

O'Neal sealed the deal with a great defensive stop.

Neither the Raptors nor the Kings are remotely good, but there are nights when two bad teams meet to produce some rather entertaining basketball.

OPPORTUNITY MISSED

Had the Raptors protected the ball better, had they defended the perimeter with any sense of understanding, they could have blown the Kings right off their home floor.

As it was, the game came down to the final quarter, fitting given that neither team showed any signs of wanting to take control.

A nine-point Toronto lead was dwindled down to two after the Kings went on a 7-0 run, punctuated by a Bobby Jackson three-pointer when no defender was within shouting distance of the swingman.

On Toronto's next possession, Joey Graham flushed home a reverse dunk that is sure to be replayed over and over again on sports highlight packages.

Typical of Graham, he missed a gimmee from about two feet after an O'Neal feed.


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