Paul, Posey Leave Their Mark In Toronto

By Tonya Raymond
Updated: December 16, 2008

Toronto Raptors TORONTO — Chris Paul, David West and James Posey were just too much for the Toronto Raptors on Sunday as the New Orleans Hornets snatched a 99-91 victory at the Air Canada Centre.

After coming off a two game winning streak including a blow out against the New Jersey Nets, the Raptors looked as if they were ready to pick up another win.

In the opening minutes, Toronto looked as good as they have ever been. Offensively they were in a groove and got off to an early lead. They also held NBA all-star Paul to only 12 points in the game.

But even though the Raps did a good job on Paul in terms of points, they forgot about a guy coming off the bench — Posey.

He was simply unstoppable behind the three point line and drilled six triples to help his team get the victory. “We are very unselfish players on this team and we’re not scared to make that extra pass,” said Posey.

Paul and West also played a part in the win. West was the leading scorer with 29 points and as for Chris, he was simply just Chris. Though not explosive as we are use to seeing, he handed out 12 assists.

“He does a very good job dictating the flow of the game for us. We look [and] has a double-double or if not a triple double. So he is a big part of what we have going on here,” said Posey.

The win wasn’t the only thing on CP3’s mind. Paul was just two steals shy from tying the NBA record with 105 consecutive thefts set by Alvin Robertson.

But at the 5:44 mark in the fourth, he was now just one away from that record.

Despite challenging reporters to look at the Clippers game when he stole the ball but wasn’t rewarded on the stats sheet, a very modest CP3 managed to shift the attention and focus from him back to his team.

Paul was very impressed with his team’s performance and pleased to see them stepping up in the absence of an injured Tyson Chandler.

“Rasual Butler did an outstanding job coming in [for] TC. It’s a totally different game without Tyson in there to tell u the truth, so it’s great to see how we are playing without such an important piece of our puzzle.

On the flip side the Raptors were clearly missing more than one piece to their puzzle.

Jamario Moon, Jason Kapono, Joey Graham and Anthony Parker were pretty much non existent in the game. They combined for 21 of Toronto’s 91 points.

Adding to the Raps misery was also a struggling Andrea Bargnani, who finished the game with four points and only one rebound. Chris Bosh led the Dinos with 25 points.

Yes, there’s no question Toronto could have and should have won this game if they got a little more help from the bench but at the same time I don’t think this is a huge set-back.

Since Sam Mitchell was replaced as head coach by Jay Triano, the Raptors have improved tremendously on the defensive end.

We all know they have the pieces to compete and be a contender in the East but now it’s just a matter of fine tuning the pieces and putting them together for 48 minutes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Toronto has now lost three of their last five following Monday’s 94-87 loss to New Jersey at the ACC. They’ll resume action Wednesday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks.