Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/16

Game 1: Tuesday, November 16th
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th

Raptors 89

(4-4, 1-4 away)

Clippers 101

(5-3, 2-1 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 16, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 27 20 12 3089
    LAC 33 20 29 19101

    Top Performers

    Toronto: V. Carter 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Stl

    Los Angeles: M. Jaric 23 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    All five Clippers' starters in double-figures

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are off to a winning start. No joke.

    With a balanced effort led by Marko Jaric's 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Los Angeles beat the Toronto Raptors 101-89 Tuesday night.

    Long an NBA doormat, the Clippers (5-3) are off to their best start in nine years. Although they won five of their first eight in the 1995-96 season, they went on to finish 29-53.

    All five starters scored in double figures against the Raptors, losers of four of five after a 3-0 start. The Clippers shot 52 percent and held Toronto to 42 percent shooting.

    "We have a big attitude change," said Elton Brand, who scored 19 points. "We feel we can win every night and we've thought differently about ourselves since Day 1."

    Their second-year coach, Mike Dunleavy, is pleased to see progress.

    "They have great chemistry together," Dunleavy said. "It's fun to come to work."

    Corey Maggette added 22 points, Chris Wilcox had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, and Bobby Simmons scored 10.

    Maggette liked the balanced scoring.

    "The guys who are expected to do most of the scoring are me and Elton," Maggette said. "But when you have your other guys stepping up and doing a great job, it makes your team that much better."

    Vince Carter scored 21 points for the Raptors but only six after the first quarter, when he hurt the ring finger of his right hand diving for a loose ball.

    In a shooting slump recently, he finished 9-of-23 but made only four of 18 shots after hitting his first five. With Los Angeles ahead 82-59 after three periods, he didn't play in the fourth.

    "The fingernail actually rolled back on my ring finger and it was bleeding," Carter said.

    The Clippers face the Lakers (4-4) on Wednesday night on the court they share, and Brand said: "We have to be up for that one. We aren't playing a home game, but we still feel at home."

    The Raptors have been inconsistent. They beat Houston, Detroit and Portland at home to open the season, and also defeated the Jazz in Utah.

    "The momentum we had coming into this West Coast trip was tremendous and we felt good about ourselves, so we want to end it on a good note," Carter said.

    Ahead 53-49 in the opening minute of the third quarter, the Clippers reeled off a 23-4 run to open a 23-point lead with 4:28 remaining in the period. They were in control the rest of the way.

    The Raptors started with a bang and ended the first period with a team-record 26 field-goal attempts. They made just 12, however, and trailed 33-27 heading into the second quarter.

    The Clippers trailed 15-8 before scoring 15 consecutive points to move in front to stay at 23-15. Brand scored eight points in the run.

    "They execute plays and they share the ball. I feel they will keep getting better," Dunleavy said.

    Game notes

    The Raptors' previous high for shots in a quarter was 19 in the first quarter at New Jersey on Jan. 11, 1997. ... Carter had the plug pulled on his iPod before the game. The NBA learned that he had been wearing headphones and listening to music of his choice during the 20-minute pregame warmups. The league said that earphones are not part of the uniform and told Carter to tune out. He declined to comment.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 101
    FGM-FGA 36-85 (.424) 37-71 (.521)
    3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 5-7 (.714)
    FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 22-24 (.917)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-40 10-34
    Assists 14 26
    Turnovers 22 23
    Steals 11 10
    Blocks 1 9
    Fast Break Points 3 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 21
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Marko Jaric Jaric
    Points: 23
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2