Bosh has 23 points, 13 rebounds to lead Raptors past Mavericks 110-88
The Toronto Raptors marked the midway point of their season with a decisive victory against the type of team they must beat to give some legitimacy to their recent surge.
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors marked the midway point of their season with a decisive victory against the type of team they must beat to give some legitimacy to their recent surge.
Chris Bosh scored 23 points with 13 rebounds while Jose Calderon added 15 points and seven assists off the bench in a 110-88 victory over the Southwest Division-leading Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
"To get to where we want to go we're going to have to win big games and today was a big game," Bosh said after collecting his league-best 29th double-double. "We came out prepared and I'm really proud of my guys for the way they played."
Andrea Bargnani added 22 points for the Raptors (21-20), who won for the seventh time in eight home games to hit the halfway point with a winning record before an Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,004.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points for the Mavericks (26-14), who came into the game having won six of their last seven contests at the Air Canada Centre. Jason Terry added 18 points while former Raptor Shawn Marion had 15.
Given the massive roster turnover in the off-season and some initial struggles gelling as a unit, a winning mark is no small feat for the Raptors. There have been many changes along the way, one of them being the role of Calderon, who began the season as a starter but has been used as a substitute since returning from a hip injury.
"For me it's the same, you have to concentrate to play basketball," Calderon said. "It doesn't matter when you're coming on the court. When your name is called (whether it's) being in from the beginning or coming from the bench, you have to do the same thing - be active on defence, don't make mistakes. So it doesn't matter for me."
Calderon suffered the injury in December and missed 10 games, returning in a reserve role behind starter Jarrett Jack at point guard.
Jack has started 19 straight games and in the victory over Dallas had 11 points and seven assists. Calderon has started 22 games this season.
Sometimes head coach Jay Triano uses both on the court at the same time as he did Sunday for a spell in the second half. Calderon first entered the game with 25.3 seconds left in the first quarter which ended with Dallas leading 23-20.
He committed a turnover soon after but provided a spark in the second quarter as the Raptors took over by outscoring Dallas 34-18 for a 54-41 halftime lead. Calderon scored nine points with six assists in the frame.
They split playing time about equally in the game, with Calderon playing 23:04 and Jack 23:35.
"I'm just glad to see him come in and be very aggressive," Jack said.
Calderon, who scored 21 coming off the bench in Friday's victory over the New York Knicks, returned from the hip injury on Jan. 6 and he obviously is over it.
"I can move my legs, I can move everything a bit better," Calderon said. "I couldn't do it (with the injury). That's why I'm feeling more comfortable out there."
He wasn't the only presence for the Raptors coming off the bench. Amir Johnson scored 10 points with eight rebounds and former Maverick Antoine Wright scored eight points with four rebounds
Both were important in keeping Nowitzki in check and he showed his frustration by picking up a technical foul in addition to five personal fouls.
"We tried to show Dirk as many different looks as we could," Triano said. "We tried to get in front sometimes, tried to switch and just make it difficult because we did not want him getting any type of rhythm going.
"Amir was a big part of that as was Antoine Wright who played a lot of minutes (23:53). He had to do both, he had to guard Dirk Nowitzki and he had to guard Jason Terry and chase him around. They were two different assignments and two tough assignments."
Johnson played 22:39 and had five personal fouls.
"The second quarter was our undoing," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "When they scored 34, we scored 18. Turnovers led to uncontested shots. We went through a drought. When you go through a drought you have to stop them. We didn't do it."
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Notes: The Raptors were without guard Marco Belinelli who was ill....The Mavericks beat the Raptors 129-101 in Dallas on Nov. 7...The Raptors are in Cleveland on Tuesday to play the Cavaliers, then head to Milwaukee on Wednesday to play the Bucks before the two teams square off against Friday at the ACC.