Bosh, Raptors eliminate Nets from contentionApr 12, 2008 - 3:15 AM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors took care of an old friend as they eliminated Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets from playoff contention with a 113-85 victory at the Air Canada Centre on Friday.
Bosh was solid all night long as he finished with 21 points and nine rebounds and Carlos Delfino added 24 points off the bench to give the Raptors back-to-back home victories as they jockey for position in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"Going into the playoffs we really need to build on this and have solid defense and move the ball around the way we did tonight," Bosh said.
The Nets entered the game barely hanging in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. But the loss eliminated them from playoff contention.
"After having six years of tasting postseason, to not play in the postseason is extremely disappointing," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "We feel like we let a lot of people down, this won't ever happen again."
Carter, facing his former team and a hostile Toronto crowd, finished the game with 21 points and Devin Harris chipped in with 19 and six assists for New Jersey, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 2000-01.
"I believe that this is a very good team. Just because we are mathematically eliminated doesn't mean we give up on the season," Carter said. "I understand that it was an off year, but we are still out there to play hard and win games."
Carter led the way early for the Nets, recording nine first-quarter points to help his team shoot 60 percent and lead 30-18 after one quarter.
The Raptors responded immediately as Delfino and Jose Calderon came off the bench to spur a 14-2 run and get Toronto within one point at 40-39 at the five-minute mark. Delfino drained two 3-pointers, and Calderon netted six points as part of the run.
Delfino's 14-point quarter keyed Toronto 's run as it trailed New Jersey, 48-46, at the break.
"I was really feeling good tonight and my teammates were able to get me the ball in good spots so I could have good looks," Delfino said.
The Raptors connected on eight of their first nine shots to open the second half and were able to stretch their lead to 83-67 at the end of three quarters on the strength of a 21-4 run led by by T.J. Ford with 12 points and four assists.
"I decided to come out and be aggressive to help us get a bit of separation, and we were able to close out the game," Ford said.
Delfino connected on his sixth 3-pointer and Andrea Bargnani added eight points to stretch Toronto 's lead to 105-80 with five minutes to go. The Raptors' bench outscored the Nets' reserves, 53-21.
"The bench played well, they shot the ball well and Carlos had a big game," Bosh said. "He's been in a bit of a slump and he really needed one like this."
Richard Jefferson added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists for New Jersey.
NEW JERSEY 85
TORONTO 113 FINAL
Apr 11 9:28 PM
NEW JERSEY 67
TORONTO 83 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 11 8:53 PM
NEW JERSEY 48
TORONTO 46 HALFTIME
Apr 11 8:06 PM
NEW JERSEY 30
TORONTO 18 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 11 7:36 PM
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