Gay has 20 in debut, Raptors rout Clippers 98-73
TORONTO (AP) — The way Blake Griffin saw it, a sloppy effort by the Los Angeles Clippers only made things easier for Rudy Gay and the fired-up Raptors.
Gay wowed a sellout crowd by scoring 20 points in his Toronto debut, leading the Raptors to a 98-73 rout of the short-handed Clippers on Friday night.
"The way we played had a big effect on their flow," Griffin said. "Not to take anything away from them — they did a good job — but our defense was terrible."
The Clippers were pretty terrible on offense, too, setting season lows for points and field goal percentage (34.7). Los Angeles' previous low in points was 76 at Brooklyn on Nov. 23, while its previous low in field goal percentage was 36.6 on Jan. 19 in a home win over Washington.
"We didn't execute very well, we didn't shoot it very well," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We struggled in a lot of areas."
Amir Johnson had 19 points and matched his career high with 16 rebounds for the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan also scored 19 as Toronto welcomed Gay with a winning effort two days after the high-scoring forward was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that included Detroit.
"It felt great to be accepted like I (was) today," said Gay, who got a standing ovation before checking in for the first time. "It just makes you want to play hard."
John Lucas scored 17 and Aaron Gray had seven points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who handed the Clippers their fourth straight loss in Toronto and their largest defeat of the season.
"Our guys came in locked and loaded," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Griffin had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who were without point guard Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) for the sixth straight game. Los Angeles forward Matt Barnes served a one-game suspension for striking Minnesota's Greg Stiemsma on Wednesday.
The absences forced the Clippers into some new-look lineups, but the juggling didn't help.
"Nothing worked very well tonight," Del Negro said. "I don't think any of the rotations or anything were very efficient."
Griffin said the Clippers could have benefited from Barnes' defense.
"He's a very big part of our team's success," Griffin said. "We definitely missed him, but we can't sit back on that."
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