TORONTO — Alan Anderson wasn’t surprised the Toronto Raptors beat a struggling team. What he didn’t know was who led them to the win.
“Any night could be anybody. I don’t know who it was tonight. But I mean any night it’s always somebody, it’s just fun to play like that. Open person knocks down a shot, whoever, we pass and find open man, hot hand, it’s just fun,” said Anderson, before a reporter told him his 16 points were a team high.
“It was me? Good,” he said to laughter.
Anderson was 4-for-9 from three-point range off the bench Friday against his former team as Toronto led from start to finish in a 99-78 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jose Calderon had 15 points and six assists for Toronto (14-22), while Amir Johnson scored 13 points to go along with eight rebounds. Ed Davis added 12 points and eight boards of his own.
The 30-year-old Anderson has played for just two NBA teams in his career, breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent with Charlotte in 2005 before leaving after the 2006-07 season. The six-foot-six, 219-pound guard/forward spent the next six years playing in Europe, China and North America before joining Toronto last season.
Some athletes find motivation in beating their old teams. For Anderson, there was nothing special in his performance against the Bobcats.
“It feels (like) a long time. Because I’ve been (to) different countries, all different kinds of teams, D-League, it’s been a long time,” he said.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker each had 12 points for the Bobcats (9-26), who also got 12 points from Ben Gordon off the bench.
Toronto entered the fourth quarter in little danger of giving up the lead after Anderson ended the third with a three-pointer for a 76-58 advantage. Kyle Lowry hit a three of his own with less than five minutes to play that gave the Raptors a 24-point lead, their biggest of the night, to put the game well out of reach in front of a crowd 14,373 at Air Canada Centre.
“We did not let up,” said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. “They kept on pushing. We went about our business. I liked our business-like approach in the second half. The hardest thing to do is to play with the lead. We are still digging out of a hole, but I like our guy’s effort. We are still in the middle of the process.”