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Raptors cruise after 40-point second quarter

Feb 24, 2007 - 4:37 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors graded out an A-plus in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers.

Rookie Andrea Bargnani scored eight of his 13 points during a 40-point outburst in the second quarter as the Raptors rolled to a 110-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Two nights after dropping an 86-85 decision to Cleveland, Chris Bosh had 23 points and 12 rebounds and rookie Jorge Garbajosa scored 16 for Toronto, which made 6-of-7 3-pointers and 15-of-19 shots overall during the decisive quarter.

"We wanted to come out and make a statement," Raptors point guard T.J. Ford said. "We definitely let one get away from us the other night against Cleveland. We know we are competing to get the top spot in the East and we know we are capable of doing it so we just came out and put the pressure on them right away."

The Raptors (30-25) are 5 1/2 games behind the Detroit Pistons for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto extended a five-point lead at the end of the first period for 62-46 halftime advantage. Bargnani and Morris Peterson each were 2-of-2 from the arc during the second and Garbajosa and Bosh each added five points in the quarter.

Bosh felt that was the best the Raptors had played.

"I think so, if we can play like that the rest of the season it will really help the team," Bosh said. "We need to be aggressive down low on offense and defense. Those guys are playing amazing, finding guys. When they each get close to 10 assists a game we are pretty tough beat."

The Raptors shot 61 percent (25-of-41) in the first half and point guards Ford (five) and Jose Calderon (nine) combined for 14 assists without a turnover.

"We've been doing the same thing for a long time now," Ford said. "We are both at a good pace right now and we're both playing well, we continue to protect the ball and make assists, guys knock down shots which makes our job easier."

Ford finished with eight assists and three turnovers in 35 minutes and Calderon had 12 and two in 21.

Toronto scored the first 11 points of the second half and Indiana got no closer than 10 thereafter.

Jamaal Tinsley had 19 points and eight assists and Jermaine O'Neal scored 17 points for Indiana, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"That's one of those games where they came out and played harder than we did," O'Neal said. "They looked like they wanted it more than us and they played that way. If you want to make some noise in this conference we need to get off to a better start and slow guys down because we are a defensive team."

Pacers guard Marquise Daniels did not play in the second half after injuring a knee in the second quarter.

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