TORONTO, ON (LE)- Vince Carter scored a season high 39 points, including a game winning two-handed reverse dunk and the New Jersey Nets battled back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 129-127 in overtime Friday night at the Air Canada Center.
Anthony Parker missed a shot from half court for Toronto as time expired.
New Jersey point guard Devin Harris was battling a stomach virus and missed a large portion of the third quarter, but added 30 points and had five assists.
Chris Bosh led Toronto with 42 points—tying his career high—and also had nine rebounds. Andrea Bargnani scored a career high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Raptors point guard Jose Calderon, playing in his second game since suffering a hamstring injury, had 26 points and 15 assists for the Raptors.
In a battle of Toronto’s former franchise player in Carter versus its current franchise player in Bosh, Carter came out on top. First, he hit a 29-foot, game tying three-pointer to send the game into overtime and then scored the winning basket in the extra period.
Typically, Carter was booed by Toronto fans every time he touched the ball.
Jose Calderon hit a jump shot which gave Toronto its biggest lead—18 points—at 69-51 with 8:35 remaining in the third quarter. New Jersey responded quickly though and when Yi Jianlian hit a three-pointer with 3:47 to go, it capped a 14-2 run and reduced the margin to six, 71-65.
After a broken down play, Andrea Bargnani hit a three-pointer to push Toronto’s lead back out to nine points, 85-76, with 7.8 seconds left in the third period.
At the start of the final quarter, Toronto’s Jermaine O’Neal grabbed an offensive rebound and as he tried to score, he was fouled hard by the New Jersey’s Sean Williams. O’Neal laid on the ground for several minutes and was clutching at his left knee.
Williams was called for a flagrant foul. O’Neal managed to get to his feet, but he missed both free throws and was substituted out of the game and didn’t return.
New Jersey then went on a 9-1 run, which was capped by a Devin Harris three-point play after he stole the ball from Calderon and was fouled by Bargnani to bring the Nets within one point. The teams then exchanged baskets, but with the score tied at 93, Toronto went on a 7-0 run with only 3:34 remaining in the game.
With 24.2 seconds remaining, Carter pulled up and connected on a clutch three-point shot to bring New Jersey within four points, 108-104. On the ensuing play, despite calling a timeout, Toronto failed to inbound the ball and was called for a five-second violation.
Carter then scored on a lay-up and New Jersey fouled Anthony Parker on the inbound pass. Parker split a pair of free throws and after calling a time out, Carter caught the ball well behind the three-point line and connected on a shot, leaving only .5 seconds remaining with the score tied at 111.
After calling another timeout, Toronto was unable to get a shot off on the ensuing play and the game went to overtime.
Carter scored the first basket in the extra period, but a three-pointer from Bargnani, his fifth, gave Toronto the lead again at 119-118. After Bosh hit a jump shot to give Toronto a three-point lead, Jarvis Hayes hit a wide open three-pointer for New Jersey to tie the game again.
Keyon Dooling split a pair of free throws to give New Jersey a four point lead at 125-121, but Chris Bosh hit a three-pointer for Toronto with .5 seconds remaining.
The Raptors fouled Jarvis Hayes and he made both to again give New Jersey a three-point advantage.
Raptors head Coach Sam Mitchell called a timeout and designed a play for Anthony Parker. Parker caught the ball and while almost treading on the sideline, rose up and hit a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 127.
Everything Toronto did, Carter had an answer for. Once again, just as it was on his first trip back to the city that gave him his start in the NBA, Vince broke the hearts of Raptors fans.
New Jersey, with a chance to end the game knowing that Toronto, weary of Carter’s long range shooting ability, expected him to curl out to the perimeter. Instead, he ran towards the hoop and the inbounds pass found him on an alley-oop and he dunked the ball and sealed the game.
The Raptors, with no timeouts remaining, found Parker who heaved a halfcourt shot in desperation, but it was well off.
The sold out crowd of 19,800 at the Air Canada Center fell silent.
Notes: Jose Calderon is a perfect 31-31 from the free throw line this season; he made all six of his attempts tonight…Toronto had only four turnovers in the first three quarters, they finished with 13…New Jersey averaged 13.3 turnovers per game, they committed only six tonight…Toronto said that Jermaine O’Neal had a knee strain…Toronto is now 3-1 on the season when they score 100 or more points.