Final - OT
  for this game

Ford stars in overtime as Raptors edge Sonics

Mar 11, 2007 - 11:14 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- A shootout between Ray Allen and Andrea Bargnani was settled by T.J. Ford.

Ford scored nine of his 25 points in overtime as the Toronto Raptors rallied for a seesaw 120-119 victory over the road-weary Seattle SuperSonics.

Allen and Bargnani traded clutch jumpers late in regulation before Ford took charge in the extra session and gave the Raptors (34-29) consecutive wins for the first time since February 23-24.

One of the best shooters in the game, Allen scored 36 points on 14-of-28 shooting. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a jumper at the buzzer that forced overtime.

"It's a challenge, but it's tough for me because he's constantly moving," Raptors guard Anthony Parker said. "He's one of the few guys in the NBA that you have to respect every move that he does with the ball or pump fakes or anything. You have to react to it. You almost have to face-guard him."

A rookie 7-footer with a sweet stroke for a big man, Bargnani scored 19 points, draining four 3-pointers. With 9.3 seconds left, he had a four-point play - drawing a foul from Allen on a 3-pointer - that gave Toronto a 106-104 lead.

"If a guy can shoot from that far and he can put a ball on the floor you really just have to take one thing away from him or just run out there late and hope he misses," Allen said.

A dunk by Chris Wilcox gave Seattle its last lead at 113-112 with 1:21 left. Working the high screen-roll with All-Star Chris Bosh, Ford responded with a pull-up jumper, a driving layup and three free throws over the next minute-plus, giving the Raptors a 119-113 advantage with 18 seconds to play.

"It was good to see T.J. play that way," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "He made some big plays, big shots."

Ford made 11-of-15 shots, handed out 13 assists and collected three steals in a stellar floor game. He had made just 13-of-40 shots in his last four contests.

"When you're struggling as long as I was struggling, you just have to go back to the basics," Ford said. "You know how you want to play and you know of what you're capable of playing, but sometimes it doesn't just click the way you want it to. You just have to believe in yourself."

Bosh had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who shot a sizzling 56 percent (44-of-79) but were beaten on the boards, 52-34.

"They killed us on the boards and that was one of our focal points, so we're going to have to pay more close attention to detail in later games," Bosh said.

Rashard Lewis had 26 points and 13 boards and Johan Petro added 13 and 13 for the Sonics, who went 1-3 on their road trip, dropping the last three. Only Memphis has a worse road record than Seattle's 7-25.

Lewis split a pair of free throws and followed in a miss by Allen to give Seattle a 104-102 lead with 20 seconds left in regulation.

On the next possession, Lewis blocked a layup by Bosh. But Ford ended up with the loose ball and whipped a pass to Bargnani, who drilled a shot from the arc as Allen hit his right arm.

"He shot the ball and when the ball left his hand I hit his hand," Allen said. "What can you do? You can't argue about it. He made the shot, but when he made the shot he kind of dropped his shoulder like I hit him in the shoulder or something."

"They never make the call usually, but I don't know, (Allen) touched me maybe after the shot," Bargnani said. "There was contact, maybe not during the shot but maybe it was after."

It was Toronto's first four-point play since Morris Peterson had one vs. Phoenix on March 31, 2006.

Allen missed a jumper but ran down his own rebound at the foul line and buried a shot as the horn sounded, forcing overtime.

"In my mind I thought to myself, 'We'll win this game' (in OT) just because of that particular play," Allen said. "But defensively we didn't really get any stops and that was pretty much the key."

Toronto improved to 2-0 in OT and Seattle fell to 2-2.