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Bosh leads balanced offense as Raptors thump Bucks

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:07 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- While T.J. Ford and Charlie Villanueva played to a stalemate, the rest of the Toronto Raptors were too overwhelming for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chris Bosh scored 26 points to lead seven players in double figures and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Raptors ran away from the Bucks in the fourth quarter for a 109-92 victory in their home opener.

With much of the focus on Raptors point guard Ford and Bucks forward Villanueva - who were traded for each other in the offseason - Toronto's balance and defense made the difference.

The Raptors held the Bucks to seven points in the first 10 minutes of the final period. Backup guards Jose Calderon and Fred Jones triggered a game-breaking 14-4 run to start the final 12 minutes as Toronto rebounded from its season-opening loss to New Jersey.

"We were making shots and everyone was being productive," Ford said. "Our bench did a good job. They are the ones that took the game to the next level and made good plays. They came in and performed like we knew they were capable of playing. We continued to push the ball, which wears down the other team, and that's what happened tonight.

Jones and Calderon came off the bench to add 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who shot 53 percent (47-of-88) from the floor, including a sizzling 65 percent (26-of-40) in the second half.

With Toronto leading, 79-75, after three quarters, Calderon, a second-year guard from Spain, scored nine points and Jones added five to push the lead to 93-79 with 7:43 to play.

"I know I struggled last year with my shot but I was hurt," said Calderon, who was plagued by a heel injury and Achilles tendinitis last season. "I know I'm not a great shooter but tonight I showed that I can make some shots. It's just one part of my game and I think I can help this team by passing the ball and playing good defense."

Jones added a 3-pointer to hike the margin to 99-82 with 5:39 left. The lead eventually peaked at 23 points as the Raptors held the Bucks scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes.

Ford rebounded from a lackluster first half against his former team to contribute 13 points and 11 assists.

"I didn't have any nerves but the biggest thing was to get the win," said Ford, who was Milwaukee's first-round pick in 2003. "Did it make me feel better that it was my former team? Yes, but we have to play them three more times and this is only the second game of the season."

Villanueva had 17 points and 11 rebounds but went to the bench with a right hamstring injury with 8:53 remaining and did not return.

"We didn't play tough enough on defense," said Villanueva, who received a rousing ovation when he was introduced. "We shot the ball well but we seemed to put our heads down when they were making their comeback."

Bosh bounced back well after struggling to a 14-point, 5-of-13 shooting night in the opener against New Jersey. The All-Star forward came out with a purpose and finished 12-of-16.

"He is definitely our leader, our All-Star," Jones said. "He is the guy who sells tickets and we have to be ready to support him when he doesn't have it going, but tonight he came out and played exceptionally well and I'm happy he's on my team."

The game also marked a meeting of the last two top overall draft picks, 7-footers Andrew Bogut of Milwaukee and Andrea Bargnani of Toronto. The 2005 top pick, Bogut finished with 18 points while Bargnani had four.

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