DeMar DeRozan took his usual spot along the jump ball circle to start Friday's Raptors game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Usual spot, unusual feeling.

DeRozan looked in the backcourt and didn't see the guy he called the best teammate he'd ever had; DeRozan looked in the frontcourt and didn't see one of his best friends in the world.

But when the game was over, a thorough spanking of the Los Angeles Clippers administered before an appreciative sellout crowd at the Air Canada Centre, DeRozan had all but forgotten the emotion of the week in the euphoria of the night.

DeRozan and newcomer Rudy Gay, the centerpieces on the wings for the rejuvenated Raptors, had combined for 39 points in a 98-73 rout of the Clippers, giving fans a glimpse — for one night at least — of what could be a wonderful relationship.

"I've known Rudy for a couple of years now and jokingly we said this summer we were going to play together," said DeRozan, who had 19 of those 39 points. "It's just crazy, he knows my game, I know his game. It's as simple as that. We don't make it difficult, other than that, we just know each other's games."

It was a seamless debut for DeRozan and Gay. They hooked up for two beautiful lob pass-dunks in the first half, they defended the perimeter better than many thought they could and they anchored what was a ridiculously easy win.