AP Photo/Frank Gunn Toronto Raptors guard Vince Carter celebrates after sinking a crucial three-point shot late in NBA action against the Portland Trail Blazers in Toronto on Sunday. Toronto won, 101-97.
AP Photo/Frank Gunn
TORONTO No one expected the Toronto Raptors to be 3-0. Not Vince Carter, and not their fans.
Carter had 25 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left, to help the Raptors get off to their best start in franchise history with a 101-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
''I didn't know what to expect to be honest with you,'' Carter said. ''I started feeling better about this team in the last preseason game.''
The attendance of 13,863 was the smallest home crowd in the Raptors' 10-year history. Toronto went 33-49 last season, missing the playoffs for the second straight year and Carter, a five-time All-Star, asked for a trade this summer.
''I know that's going to be in the back of peoples minds, but I want people to really see that I love to play,'' Carter said.
Carter scored nine points in the final 4:28, including the fadeaway 3-pointer that gave Toronto a 98-95 lead.
''That's the Vince Carter that I know. That's the Vince Carter that I remember,'' teammate Morris Peterson told Carter after the game.
Zach Randolph had 33 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
SuperSonics 113, Spurs 94
SEATTLE Rashard Lewis scored 27 points and Ray Allen added 24, leading the SuperSonics to their second straight win at home, a 113-94 victory Sunday night over the San Antonio Spurs.
Seattle lost its season opener by 30 points to the Clippers in Los Angeles last week.
Danny Fortson had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Sonics, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Spurs. It was Seattle's first win over San Antonio since March 29, 2002.
Antonio Daniels added 14 points off the bench for Seattle, 10 in the final quarter. Daniels' 3-pointer gave Seattle a 99-85 lead with 3:36 left. Allen's 3-pointer with 1:59 remaining put the Sonics in front 107-89.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 21 points each. Brent Barry returned to Seattle after signing with San Antonio as a free agent during the offseason. He had eight points off the bench, including two 3-pointers.
Lakers 106, Hawks 90
LOS ANGELES Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, Caron Butler added 22, and the Los Angeles Lakers handed Atlanta its third straight lopsided loss, beating the winless Hawks 106-90 Sunday night.
Bryant shot 6-of-12 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the foul line. He also had six assists and five rebounds. Butler, who shot 10-of-14, had a total of 26 points in his first three games for the Lakers. Butler came to Los Angeles from Miami along with Lamar Odom and Brian Grant in the offseason trade that sent Shaquille O'Neal to the Heat.
Chris Mihm had 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Lakers (2-2).
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