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News » Calderon steps up


Calderon steps up


Calderon steps up
It's no coincidence that the Raptors are playing some of their best Basketball of the 2008-09 NBA season at a time when Jose Calderon is healthy for one of the first times this year.

Calderon scored 22 points and tied a franchise record with 19 assists as the Raptors survived a late scare to defeat the Chicago Bulls 134-129 in a thrilling overtime game yesterday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.

Raptors 134, Bulls 129

"Can you play much better?" asked Raptors' head coach Jay Triano after the game. "He had a nice mixture of sharing the Basketball, distributing to his teammates and eight of eleven shooting. He played very, very well."

The 28-45 Raptors, who led by 17 points midway through the fourth quarter, saw that lead quickly evaporate thanks to the hot shooting of Ben Gordon. The Bulls' shooting guard scored 17 of the visitor's season-high 42 fourth-quarter points to key a late comeback.

Chicago (36-39) outscored the Raptors 22-9 in the final 3:41 of the fourth quarter, which gave Gordon an opportunity to send the game to overtime. With his team trailing by two and the clock winding down, Gordon squared up against Bosh at the top of the three-point line. A few quick dribbles to his right and the 25-year-old hit a fade away jumper over Bosh's outstretched arms to tie the game just as time expired.

"I just wanted to be aggressive," Gordon said. "My intentions were to go all the way to the basket but Bosh did a pretty good job of not letting me turn the corner, so I had to pull up and I was able to connect."

The Bulls' momentum was abruptly stopped in the overtime period, though, as the Raptors were able to get things back on track. Bargnani helped turn things around with a key trey but then it was Bosh who put the Raptors ahead for good.

During a timeout with just 28 seconds remaining in overtime, Triano called a play for Bosh to go one-on-one against Bulls' big man Joakim Noah. It was a nearly identical situation to the one Bosh faced in the dying seconds of a 102-98 loss to Chicago on Jan. 14. Bosh missed the shot then, and he missed again yesterday, but the difference this time was that he stuck with it and was able to tip the ball in for the game-winning basket.

"I was thinking about it right when the situation occurred," said Bosh, who is averaging 20.8 and 13.8 rebounds over his past four games. "I was like, 'this is the exact situation except on the other side of the court'. I got to the hole, missed the shot but I was able to tip it in."

The Raptors recorded a franchise high in points and have now won four games in a row for the first time since Dec. 9-14, 2007.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 30, 2009

 

 
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