Raptors bury Grizzlies

Raptors' Chris Bosh during the Jan. 9 game against the Grizzlies in Toronot. (Ernest...

Raptors' Chris Bosh during the Jan. 9 game against the Grizzlies in Toronot. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/SUN MEDIA)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

The boo birds were smelling another blown double-digit lead at the Air Canada Centre last night but this time the Raptors went the other way.

A game, but overmatched, Memphis Grizzlies squad kept things tense for the better part of three quarters after recovering from an early 13-point deficit, only to see the suddenly confident Raptors blow it open in the final 15 minutes for a 103-82 win, their fourth in the past five games.

The Raptors were led by the tandem of Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. Bosh led all scorers with 32 points while Bargnani came on like gangbusters in the second half for a 21-point evening.

"That's as solid as he has been in a long, long time," Raps head coach Jay Triano said of Bosh. "He had great energy at both ends of the floor. He is starting to grasp not to settle all the time. He took it in hard and got fouled. Driving to the basket and getting fouled is one of the best things you can do."

As for Bargnani, all he did was grab the momentum back for the Raptors at the most pivotal point in the game.

With the Grizzlies having just tied the game on a Rudy Gay hook shot with about 71/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Bargnani drained back-to-back threes to put the Raps back in charge and on their way to a double-digit victory.

"Andrea's threes were big and we knew eventually that they would not be able to get out to him," Triano said, referring to a relatively quiet six-point half that Bargnani's night began with. "With (Bosh) going a bit, they had to start leaning on him which opened up Andrea and he stepped up."

Jamario Moon also got singled out for individual praise from his coach for the job he did on Gay, the lone member of the Grizzlies that appeared to be any kind of threat.

"Jamario did a real nice job on him," Triano said. "You could see (Gay) was starting to feel it a little bit in the first half and we were concerned about that."

Moon said the original plan was to give Gay some room at, or beyond, the three-point line because he was only a 30% shooter from that range.

When he knocked one down from beyond the arc a minute into the game, Moon checked the bench and got the 'don't worry about it' wave.

When he hit his second attempt late in the second quarter, Moon decided it was time to alter the plan a bit and "get up on him."

After scoring 14 points in that first half, Moon did a good job containing Gay, holding him to just eight the rest of the way.

The Raptors once again were without point guard Jose Calderon, who tried to give it a go during the pre-game warmups, but still was feeling discomfort in his strained hamstring.

Will Solomon got the start in his place and shouldered the majority of the minutes, scoring 10 points and adding nine assists while committing just three turnovers.

Memphis head coach Marc Iavaroni didn't spare his team at all in his post-game analysis, basically questioning his squad's toughness.

"(The Raptors) get into you a little bit and we didn't respond in a physical way and then started taking tough shots," he said.

It may not be the first time it has happened this year, but you don't too often hear an opponent's coach admitting the Raptors won the physical battles.


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