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Bosh, Raptors take down Magic

Mar 22, 2007 - 3:57 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- In his last game against the Orlando Magic, Chris Bosh posted his career-high in points, so the Toronto Raptors decided to ride him again.

Bosh scored 34 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Raptors posted a 92-85 victory over the Magic.

T.J. Ford had 16 points and 12 assists and Juan Dixon added 15 points off the bench for Toronto (37-31), which moved within a half game of Washington (36-29) for third place in the Eastern Conference.

"Every win feels great but we had a two-game losing streak and you don't want it to go to three," Ford said. "We stopped the bleeding."

Bosh erupted for a career-high 41 points in a 113-103 triumph vs. Orlando on February 7. This time the two-time All-Star shot 10-of-21 from the field and 14-of-16 from the free throw line for the Raptors, who have won six straight here against the Magic.

"Chris had a great game tonight," Ford said. "We just took advantage of what the defense gave us. We've put up big numbers against Orlando before so now we have to get ready for Denver and try to do the same thing."

Toronto shot 42 percent (30-of-71) and outrebounded Orlando 55-38 to move six games ahead of idle New Jersey for the Atlantic Division lead.

"We didn't shoot the ball well I thought, but we rebounded," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We didn't give them second shots and that's the key to why we won the game"

The Raptors earned this win without the services of rookie forward Andrea Bargnani who had an appendectomy Wednesday morning.

"I've been thinking about this game for awhile," Bosh said. "Especially knowing we weren't going to have Andrea, I knew I would have to try and control the tempo and play the way I can."

The top overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft, Bargnani will spend several days in the hospital and will be out a minimum of two to four weeks.

Grant Hill scored 24 points - one below his season-high - and Dwight Howard added 17 and 12 rebounds for the Magic (31-38), who fell a half game behind New Jersey (31-37) and Indiana (30-36) for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

"What's happened in the past is in the past," Grant Hill said. "We are still in a situation, fighting for our playoff lives and we're still in the hunt. We have to regroup and get ready for Friday night and get ready for the rest of the season."

"We did a good job against Dwight tonight," Bosh said. "It's always fun to play against a good young player and I like playing against my friends because I think we bring out the best in each other."

Jameer Nelson had 15 points and added four assists for Orlando, which shot just 37 percent (28-of-75) and has dropped four straight overall to Toronto.

"I thought we got some good looks at the basket especially with Dwight being double-teamed but we couldn't make any shots," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "Grant Hill was the only guy who really had anything going and those were all on drives to the basket."

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