Tuesday , May , 01 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Chris Bosh And The Toronto Raptors Staying Alive

The Toronto Raptors dodged elimination … Chris Bosh struggled, T.J. Ford left early with an injury, so other players stepped-up in the ‘T-dot’ … What’s the status of Ford and Jose Calderon for game six? … The Nets big three had big games, but where was everybody else? … Click here for a complete recap and so much more …

What Happened: The barely avoided extinction on Tuesday night.

Toronto rebounded from a pair of defeats to stave off elimination and win a 98-96 nail-bitter against the . New Jersey still leads the series 3-2.

The Raptors enjoyed a 17-point second-half lead, but the Nets closed the gap to a single point with less than a minute to play.

New Jersey even had a chance to complete the comeback win, but Bostjan Nachbar’s three-point shot clanked off the hoop as time ran out.

led the Raptors, scoring a career-high 25 points. And rookie had a perfect first-half, going 6-for-6 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. He finished with 18 points.

Anthony Parker also scored 18 points. chipped in with 17 points.

But Toronto’s big two, and T.J. Ford, had a tough night. Bosh went 3-for-11 from the floor, ending up with just 11 points. Ford left the game after hurting his neck in the first quarter. He did not play re-enter the game.

New Jersey’s big three, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, and Jason Kidd, had impressive games. Carter had 30 points, while Jefferson hit for 23 points. Kidd had a double-double, scoring 11 points and dishing out 10 assists.

But Jason Collins and Mikki Moore, the Nets other two starters, struggled. The two posts chipped in with a combined six points.

Game six is Friday in New Jersey.

Reaction of Toronto forward Chris Bosh on Jose Calderon’s play:
"Jose did a spectacular job tonight. He made some big shots, especially when they were going under the screens. They paid a lot of attention to me so that freed him up." (ESPN)

Reaction of Toronto guard Morris Peterson on Andrea Bargnaani’s play:
"He didn’t play like a rookie tonight. He made some big plays for us in the first half. He did some great things. I think he’s starting to get back to one hundred percent. It’s hard when you miss so much time and try to come back and play at this level in the playoffs." (ESPN)

Reaction of New Jersey Coach Lawrence Frank on game six:
“We dug ourselves such a huge hole in the first quarter. We give them credit, they deserved to win. Now we have to go home and defend our turf." (CNNSI)

My Take: Toronto’s supporting cast won game five. Bosh, the Raptors’ superstar, struggled with New Jersey’s swarming defense. T.J. Ford, the Raptors’ star point guard, missed most of the game with an injury. 

So other players had to step-up. Jose Calderon was brilliant. All season, he’s done a great job, filling in for Ford. Tuesday night was no exception.  Unfortunately, Calderon injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter.

It was also nice to see Morris Peterson contribute 17 points. This year, the classy veteran has had a hard time getting regular minutes. I was glad he had a big game.

The Raptors must start strong in game six. They need Chris Bosh, the franchise stud, to find his form. Calderon and Ford must use the days off between games to get healthy.

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