Point guards propel Raptors past Magic
TORONTO ó With a quick start and quality point guard play, the Toronto Raptors turned the tables on the Orlando Magic.
T.J. Ford scored 21 points, Jose Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists, and the Raptors beat the Magic 108-94 on Thursday night, cutting Orlandoís lead to 2-1 in their first-round playoff series.
iThat was the most important game of the season so far, and we played like it,î Chris Bosh said. iWe stepped up to the challenge.î
Ford shot 2-for-17 in the first two games of the series but looked confident and comfortable in this one, splitting time almost equally with Calderon.
iThe way those guys played reminded me of just how good those two can be when theyíre both on their game,î Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.
Dwight Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, while Hedo Turkoglu added 26 points and Rashard Lewis scored 19.
iRight from the get-go, the Raptors were outstanding,î Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. iTheir point-guard play was phenomenal and probably the key to the game for them.î
Jamario Moon had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup for Toronto, while Bosh and Jason Kapono each scored 15 points and Anthony Parker 10.
The Raptors finished 12-for-34 from 3-point range and set playoff highs for points in a game and a half (61).
Game 4 is Saturday afternoon in Toronto.
iWeíre halfway to our goal, which is to get back to 2-2,î Ford said. iWe have to take care of business again on Saturday.î
Keith Bogans scored 12 for the Magic, which trailed by as many as 23.
Orlando guard Jameer Nelson collapsed with back spasms as he was walking back the locker room after the game and was seen writhing on the floor in pain.
Van Gundy said Nelson was up and walking again minutes after the incident.