Bosh fuels Raptors past BucksJan 26, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Chris Bosh certainly is doing his part to keep the Toronto Raptors rolling.
Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Jose Calderon added 11 and 13 assists as the Raptors cruised to their fifth straight home win, a 106-75 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
Anthony Parker and Andrea Bargnani each finished with 13 points for Toronto, which has won seven of its last nine contests since falling to .500 on January 6.
"We are recognizing how to work hard, play good defense and build leads for ourselves," Bosh said. "In first part of the season, we really weren't taking advantage of our home court and we need to do that now. We have some home games lined up for us and we have to defend our home court."
The 31-point margin represented the easiest victory the Raptors have ever had over the Bucks.
After a close first half, the Raptors took control of the game in the third quarter as the Bucks had no answer for Bosh, who opened the second half with a three-point play.
He then hit back-to-back jumpers near the four-minute mark to start a 22-2 run to close the quarter and give Toronto a 79-53 lead heading into the final period. The Raptors outscored the Bucks, 32-11, in the third.
"In the third quarter we played with a lot of energy, rebounded the ball, did not give up any second shots and we scored," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "When you only give up three field goals in a quarter, you are going to win a lot of basketball games."
"I have full confidence in every part of my game right now," Bosh said. "I think when I don't hesitate and just let it go I am point on right now. I've been putting in extra work in practice, and it's paying off."
Bosh has been excellent over the Raptors' recent surge, averaging 29.0 points in his last nine games.
Milwaukee was unable to cut its deficit to any less than 23 points as both teams rested their starters in the final quarter.
Parker continued to provide accurate shooting for the Raptors, going 6-of-6 from the floor. As a team, Toronto shot an impressive 50 percent (38-of-75) from the field and 8-of-15 from the arc.
"We were able to limit them to one shot on the defensive end and we executed offensively by hitting our shots," Parker said. "We got the shots we were looking for and, fortunately for me, they were falling for me today."
Toronto and Milwaukee traded leads throughout the first half as there were six lead changes and five ties. Bosh scored 10 first-quarter points and ended the half with 19.
The Raptors ended the first quarter and started the second on a 9-0 run to take a 26-20 lead. The Bucks, however, answered with an 11-2 run, keyed by Charlie Villanueva, who came off the bench to score six points in the run and finish the quarter with 10.
Carlos Delfino was able to drain three 3-pointers as he added 11 points off the bench in the second quarter for the Raptors. He finished with 18 points to lead the club in bench scoring.
"We started making shots in the third quarter and that was the difference in the game," Delfino said. "When you start making shots you feel more confident and my teammates are finding me. Jose is playing at an All-Star level right now."
Michael Redd chipped in with 10 points before the break for Milwaukee, which trailed by five points at the half.
"We didn't make shots. Obviously, we didn't help our cause," Redd said.
Redd finished with a 12 points and Villanueva added 12 points off the bench for the Bucks, who have lost seven of their last nine contests.
"We had a let down in the third quarter," Villanueva said. "We were right in the game in the first half. We let a good team like this have a run like that in the third quarter, and they are going to bury you. That is exactly what they did."
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