Tonight’s game had more significant than just another regular season match, especially with the All-Star weekend fast approaching. For both Manu GINOBILI and Raptor’s Jose CALDERON it was a time to prove just how much they are going to be missed during that weekend. Well the Spaniard had his fair share of the last laugh with career high 27 points.
Now back to Manu, for me this game will go down as one of the highlight in his 6 years NBA career. He started the first two-quarter with a bang, 21 points in a space of 19 minutes. Then added a further 13 points in the next two to finish off with a game high 34 points.
“I always try to play like this, but sometimes you can't -- it doesn't happen," Manu said. "You don't make shots, you don't feel as good. Today the shot was feeling great, so I tried to use it."
"The second day of a back-to-back is always tough," Manu said. "(Sunday) we had a loss that hurt, so it was very important for us to get this win."
Not only that he also posted a career high of 15 rebounds as well. His biggest rebound came in the final 20 seconds when he rebounded his own miss and was fouled with the Spurs clinging to a three-point lead. He was also had the team highest assist (6) and steals (2) to his credit.
"It's the first time, probably in my life, that I got 15 boards" he said. "But it's not anything to be so proud of. They just bounced my way, that's it."
His performance tonight earned him high praises from both the Raptors and Spurs.
"When somebody is on like Manu, there's almost nothing you can do," Spurs coach Gregg POPOVITCH said. "He played an all-around game."
"Manu stepped up and carried us over the hump," Tim DUNCAN, who posted 22 points, said. "His rebounds were an absolute bonus for us. He was great on the boards tonight."
"He can do everything," Toronto's Carlos DELFINO said. "He can drive, he can rebound and he makes passes. They know how to use him and he has responded."
Fabricio OBERTO too had a pretty good night with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
On the opposite end, DELFINO was reunited with his international colleague and would have been eager to show his own worth. From the way I look at it, he is turning out to be the Raptors best sixth men.
He did it once again with 11 points, team high 8 rebounds (alongside BOSH & MOON) and 2 assists.
Houston Rockets 95 Portland Trail Blazers 83
The Rockets recorded their seven straight game with a win with all of heir starting five posting double digit.
Luis SCOLA could have had more to his 11 points tally if it wasn’t for his foul trouble. He also had a team high of 7 rebounds (alongside YAO Ming), 2 assists & 1 steal as well.