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Parker, Calderon spark Raptors' comeback

Apr 10, 2007 - 4:47 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors turned on the afterburners to scorch the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Anthony Parker scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures as the Raptors stormed back from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to bury the Timberwolves, 111-100.

In winning their fourth straight game, Toronto shot a blistering 75 percent (12-of-16) in the final quarter, outscoring Minnesota, 38-21, to move within a half-game of Chicago for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell attributed the team's early sluggish play to coming off a 103-89 victory over the Bulls on Sunday night.

"It's back-to-backs and getting in late. We just kept grinding," Mitchell said. "We found a way to start making some shots and kept moving the ball. We didn't move the ball that well in the first half. In the second half we talked about moving the basketball. As long as we get wide-open shots, we're going to make our share."

Parker scored 13 points and Jose Calderon came off the bench to score all 12 of his in the final 12 minutes as the Raptors used a 16-2 run to erase an 83-74 deficit with just over 9 1/2 minutes left.

Parker, Calderon and Juan Dixon each hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter for Toronto, which shot 6-of-9 from the arc to fuel the comeback.

"We tried to make stops in the fourth but Parker hit some big threes," Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett said. "Dixon hit some big threes. The young point guard (Calderon) hit some threes and some big shots. It was great initial defense, they just hit shots."

The Raptors took their first lead of the game, 86-85, on a jumper by Calderon with 7:40 to play. They steadily pulled away behind Parker and Calderon, who pushed the lead to 108-98 with a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left.

"We started moving the ball more (in the fourth quarter)," Calderon said. "We just tried to find our open guy like always. I don't know why we didn't do that in the first three quarters, but once we started moving the ball around, we played like we're used to."

T.J. Ford added 17 points and 10 assists and Chris Bosh 16 and 13 rebounds for Toronto, which finished 11-of-25 from the arc.

Ford had 14 points and seven assists but was relegated to spectator in the fourth quarter due to Calderon's brilliant play. Calderon also had 13 points off the bench in a 100-97 victory over Minnesota on December 27.

"(Jose) was able to make plays and he basically took over the game," Ford said. "The ball was in his hands in the fourth quarter and he played well. He made a lot of shots, made the right plays. And we came out with the win."

"TJ and Jose - you look at 29 points, 17 assists and only three turnovers from your point guard position - what else can you ask for?" Mitchell said. "They scored it when we needed it."

Ricky Davis scored 28 points but 18 came in the first half for the Timberwolves, who have lost their last six to the Raptors. Kevin Garnett and rookie Craig Smith added 17 apiece.

"(Calderon) was a game-changer," Smith said. "That's the second time he's done that to us. Both times he came in and set the tone."

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