Bosh keys second-quarter burst as Raptors blow out NetsNov 3, 2007 - 3:25 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors made a statement in more ways than one.
Chris Bosh scored 11 of his 14 points in a dominant second quarter and Andrea Bargnani helped Toronto put on a shooting display as the Raptors avenged last season's playoff loss with a 106-69 rout over the New Jersey Nets.
Juan Dixon made 5-of-10 shots en route to 14 points and Jose Calderon added 10 points and eight assists off the bench for the Raptors, who finished at 51 percent (39-of-77) and made 13-of-22 shots from the arc.
The Raptors are the defending Atlantic Division champions but have been somewhat overlooked entering this season in a division that contains the re-constructed Boston Celtics, the turbulent New York Knicks and the star-laden Nets.
But Toronto may have raised some eyebrows with the most-lopsided road victory and second most-lopsided overall victory in franchise history behind a 39-point win over Atlanta on April 12, 2002.
"We have to let people know we are still here," Bosh said. "Eventually they are going to start talking about us, but we can't worry about that. We know we are one of the top teams in the division and we're not going to make it easy for everybody. We want to win too. We feel we are one of the best teams in the East and we are going to play like it."
"They showed why they are the division champs," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's very disappointing to get beat as bad as we did."
The Raptors also avenged their loss to the Nets in the first round of the playoffs last season, a series which culminated with a dramatic 98-97 loss here in Game Six.
"That adds a lot to it," Bosh said. "Being in this building, that puts a significance factor to it. But this is a division opponent and they are a good team and one of the best teams in the East."
Bosh attempted just one shot in the first quarter but helped Toronto seize control in the second. He made 3-of-4 shots in the period and capped it in dramatic fashion, when he intercepted a long inbounds pass from Jason Kidd and launched a two-handed 55-footer as time expired that went in and gave the Raptors a 56-41 lead.
T.J. Ford, Juan Dixon and Jose Calderon combined for 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the quarter as the Raptors made 13-of-22 shots.
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Raptors made 9-of-17 shots while the Nets were just 5-of-17 from the floor. Toronto reeled off 18 straight points after New Jersey's Nenad Krstic opened the second half with a jumper and pushed its lead to as many as 31.
Bargnani made 7-of-11 shots overall and had 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, when he made all four of his attempts. His 3-pointer with 7:30 left gave Toronto a 42-point lead, matching the largest in franchise history.
"We want to work on staying on teams and not letting them back in the game and we did a great job of that tonight," Bosh said.
Richard Jefferson scored 27 points, giving him 56 in two games, but Vince Carter was held to seven points and attempted just six shots. Carter has made just 8-of-27 shots after two games and has yet to display the offensive ability that made him the league's eighth-leading scorer last season. Carter managed just one point after the first quarter and none in the second half against a Toronto defense that collected 10 steals and six blocks.
"In order to compete in the Eastern Conference you have to play defense," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "I didn't even realize what the score was because we were on our guys for playing defense. We understand we have to get better defensively."
Jason Kidd also struggled with two points on 1-of-5 shooting as the Nets were held to just 37 percent shooting (25-of-68) and committed 19 turnovers.
"We didn't show any energy after the first quarter," Kidd said. "I don't have any answers. The only thing I can think of is that maybe we thought it was open practice and didn't realize that the season has started."
New Jersey had an 18-11 lead less than eight minutes into the game before Toronto scored 22 of the next 25 points, including the first 12 of the second quarter.
The Nets were within 51-41 with 24 seconds left in the first half, but Ford buried a fadeaway jumper with two seconds left. Kidd attempted a long inbounds pass to Krstic at the opposite end but Bosh caught the pass at the top of the key and restored the 15-point lead.
"It just looked good," Bosh said. "It just lined up with the goal and I'm just happy it went in. I think it kind of sparked us for the next half."
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