Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Raptors Rookie Ross Solid in Debut as Toronto Beats Real Madrid in Pre-Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Raptors Rookie Ross Solid in Debut as Toronto Beats Real Madrid in Pre-Season

Article excerpt

Raptors rookie Terrence Ross solid in debut


TORONTO - When Terrence Ross threw up an air ball on a three-point attempt in his first few minutes on the floor, it looked like a long night could be in store for the Toronto Raptors' rookie.

But it was just a blip in an otherwise strong NBA debut Monday as Ross and the Raptors won their pre-season opener, 102-95 over Spain's Real Madrid.

"Other than that I felt comfortable, I wasn't nervous or in a rush, I just calmed myself down, got myself together," Ross said. "It wasn't too bad."

DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points and John Lucas added 16 of his own for the Raptors, who ended the third quarter up by two before pulling away in the fourth.

Andrea Bargnani had 14 points, Amir Johnson added 12 points, scoring on several big dunks, Jose Calderon had eight assists to go with nine points, and Ed Davis grabbed 10 rebounds.

Ross, the Raptors' No. 8 pick out of Washington, scored 10 points in 22 minutes, calmly knocking down a pair of threes.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey was pleased with the 21-year-old's first NBA game.

"There was that one casual play where he thought he was in the park by himself, and (former NBA player Rudy) Fernandez came from behind and got him ... just little things like that," Casey said. "But his upside is off the charts."

Ross said the speed and intensity of the game is different from what he faced at the college level.

"Most of the guys are veterans, they've been playing this for a long time, so it's a lot different from college kids to grown men," he said. "You've got to be a second quicker (getting your shot off), you've always got to do something a little better, jump a little higher, get a little more arc."

While it was only the pre-season, Ross said the moment he put on his jersey before the game wasn't lost on him.

"Definitely, it gave me a sense of how much I've done to get to the point I'm at now," he said.

Nikola Mirotic had 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the visitors, while Martynas Pocius added 15 points.

It was no surprise that the game, which came just two days after the Raptors finished their Halifax training camp, was a sloppy, dragged-out foul-filled affair for a Toronto team that featured 10 new faces. …

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