TORONTO - Hedo Turkoglu finally showed the Toronto Raptors what he can do.
The forward added a season-high 23 points to Chris Bosh's game-leading 27 on Sunday as the Raptors defeated the Houston Rockets 101-88.
The Raptors (11-15) found more ways to get the ball to Turkoglu, who responded with a more aggressive effort than he has shown so far this season.
"Today, I got the ball more and the chance to be more aggressive," Turkoglu said. "As long as I do those things I'm going to look for the best opportunity for myself and try to find my teammates to get them easy shots."
Turkoglu, who was acquired from the Orlando Magic in the off-season, also had six rebounds and five assists and remained a force even after picking up his fifth foul in the fourth quarter.
"I think we got the ball into his hands in different times with a new set that we put in today," head coach Jay Triano said. "He was able to turn the corner quite a bit.
"We're going to give it to him. He's not going to get it necessarily off the first pass but maybe off the second and third pass."
Carl Landry came off the bench to lead Houston (13-10) with 25 points, while Luis Scola had 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Aaron Brooks added 20 points.
Houston guard Trevor Ariza was ejected from the game with 3:47 left in the third quarter for taking a swing at DeMar DeRozan from behind as he dribbled up-court. Ariza drew a technical foul and the ejection but no personal foul because there was no contact. Ariza scored one point, going 0-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line.
"It was right in front of me but unfortunately, I did not see it," Triano said. "I had no idea. I haven't even seen the replay yet. I thought we had a breakaway and a foul and we were going to shoot two free throws and was surprised when everything happened."
DeRozan was puzzled, as well.
"I didn't really know what happened," he said.
After the play, Raptors point guard Jarrett Jack went face-to-face with Ariza, but the two were quickly separated.
It was a solid overall effort by the Raptors, who had lost their two previous games after winning three in a row. They shot 50 per cent from the floor while limiting Houston to 36.8 per cent before a crowd of 17,111 at the Air Canada Centre.
"We had a good effort and energy throughout the game," Triano said. "Good pressure defensively on guys with the ball, better than we've had."
The Raptors led 32-17 after the first quarter, and Houston couldn't catch up from there.
"They were very aggressive, they were very active and they were getting to our shots," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "Just a very poor first quarter."
Jack had 17 points and eight assists and Andrea Bargnani added 14 points in the win.
Sonny Weems added a spark off the bench with 11 points in 29 minutes. The increased playing time was a reward from Triano, who moved Weems up in the rotation because of his effective play in the two previous games.
"The other thing was that we knew they were going to play two very quick point guards," Triano said. "We just thought we needed him out there, we needed somebody to try and contain (them)."
Toronto had a 68-47 lead just past the half-way point of the third quarter after reeling off 12 consecutive points highlighted by a Jack three-pointer.
By the end of the third quarter, the Rockets had cut the Raptors' lead to 12. They kept chipping away during the fourth quarter, closing the lead to nine at 91-82 with 5:08 to play in the game after Landry made two free throws.
The Raptors led 55-42 at the half on Bosh's 16 points, Turkoglu's 12 and nine each from Bargnani and Weems.
Toronto led by as many as 18 points with 10:31 left in the first half but Houston cut that to nine points with 4:52 to go when Brooks, who had 12 first-half points, made consecutive free throws.
Notes: Raptors point guard Jose Calderon is listed as day-to -day with a sore left hip. He missed two successive games with the injury and tried to play in Friday's loss to Atlanta but was limited to seven minutes after aggravating it. ... The Raptors are on the road for games against Miami and Orlando on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home to play New Jersey on Friday.
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