Bayless Scores 19 Points, Raptors Beat Nets 99-92
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Reggie Evans had 15 rebounds for Toronto, which had lost nine of 10.
Toronto led 92-76 with 5:51 play but New Jersey rallied, and a 3-pointer by Vujacic cut it to 94-87 with 2:28 remaining. Bayless answered with a driving layup to give the Raptors a nine-point lead with 2:12 still to play.
Lopez was fouled on consecutive possessions and made three of four from the line before Wright missed a pair for the Raptors. New Jersey turned the ball over on an errant pass before the Raptors were called for a 24-second violation, giving the Nets one more shot inside the final minute. Lopez made a driving hook shot with 46 seconds left, cutting it to 96-92.
Lopez fouled Bayless on a drive to the basket and the Toronto guard made both, giving his team a six-point edge with 35 seconds to go. Vujacic missed a 3 and, after a replay review, the Raptors were granted possession. Bayless was fouled and capped it by making one more free throw.
Already dealing with injury problems, the Nets lost rookie Ben Uzoh early in the fourth when he slipped on defense and appeared to injure his right knee. Uzoh was able to stand and walk slowly to the bench, but he did not return.
Both teams were without several key players. New Jersey’s Deron Williams, who will undergo right wrist surgery Monday, missed his third straight game while leading rebounder Kris Humphries (right heel, right ankle) has not played in six games and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Anthony Morrow (left knee), Damion James (right foot) and Sundiata Gaines (hip) were also absent.
Toronto dressed just nine players. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (right ankle) or guard Jose Calderon (left hamstring) sat for the fifth time in six games, while Leandro Barbosa (left pinky) missed his fourth straight. Amir Johnson (left ankle) was sidelined for the third straight game and Sonny Weems (right knee) was also unavailable.
DeRozan scored 14 points in the first, including two on an alley-oop pass from Bayless, as the Raptors made seven of their first eight shots to open a 31-22 lead after 12 minutes.
James Johnson had 11 points in the second and Wright came off the bench to score eight as Toronto extended its advantage, building a 61-42 lead at the half.
Bayless had nine points in the third, helping the Raptors take an 82-62 lead into the final quarter.
The Nets missed their first eight 3-point shots before Vujacic made one in the fourth.
NOTES: The Raptors outrebounded the Nets 45-31. … Morrow is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee on Monday and will likely miss the remainder of the season, coach Avery Johnson said. … The Nets signed G Mario West for the remainder of the season. … Raptors coach Jay Triano said Amir Johnson is unlikely to play again this season. … Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos attended the game.
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