Maybe this game isn’t so complicated after all.
Going back to the same starting lineup they used for most of the regular season and getting a brilliant performance from point guard T.J. Ford, the Raptors rolled to a 108-94 victory over the Orlando Magic last night, getting themselves right back in the best-of-seven NBA playoff series.
Jamario Moon responded to a starting assignment by registering a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds while Ford had a sellout crowd of 20,023 chanting his name midway through a great 21-point night.
The Magic still lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow afternoon.
Knowing that a win was an absolute must, the Raps came out with a new, old starting lineup and took it to the Magic from the opening tip.
Going back to Ford, Anthony Parker, Moon, Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh, Toronto led by as many as 13 in the first quarter to seize the momentum from the start. And considering how they’d trailed by 20 after the first quarter of Game 1 and 17 at the end of Game 2, they knew how important a hot start was.
And to back up the starters, coach Sam Mitchell used a regular rotation that included Jose Calderon, Jason Kapono, Carlos Delfino and Rasho Nesterovic, just as he had for most of the regular season.
Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists and Kapono continued his resurgent play with a couple key fourth-quarter three-pointers that were part of his 15-point night.
Bosh chipped in 15 points — after scoring just three in the first half while Anthony Parker had 10.