Raptors beat Nets to avoid elimination
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2007 7:28AM EDT
TORONTO - It looked like a laugher. It turned into a nail-biter. Jose Calderon scored a career-high 25 points and Andrea Bargnani added 18 as the Toronto Raptors rebounded from two double-digit losses to stave off elimination and beat the New Jersey Nets 98-96 on Tuesday night.
Game 6 in the first-round series is Friday night in New Jersey.
The Raptors led by as many as 17 points in the second half but the Nets got within one in the final minute when Calderon rolled his ankle and lost the ball to Jason Kidd. Vince Carter then hit a 3-pointer to make it 95-94 with 27.6 seconds remaining.
Two free throws by Toronto's Chris Bosh and a putback from Mikki Moore of the Nets made it 97-96. Bosh was fouled again but made just one of two, giving the Nets a chance to tie or go for the win. Carter drove to the basket but Juan Dixon's defense forced him to give up the ball and Bostjan Nachbar's 3-pointer bounced off the rim as time expired.
Starting for the first time in the series, Bargnani scored Toronto's first seven points of the game. He made all six of his field goal attempts and all three of his free throws in the first half.
Anthony Parker scored 18 points and Morris Peterson added 17 for Toronto.
Carter scored 30 points for the Nets, who also got 23 points from Richard Jefferson and 11 points and 10 assists from Kidd.
New Jersey starters Kidd, Jason Collins and Moore were all held scoreless in the first half.
Toronto guard T.J. Ford left the game shortly after colliding with Carter with less than 30 seconds to play in the first quarter. Ford, who suffered what team officials called a "stinger," was taken to a hospital for tests. He returned to the arena and was sitting on the bench late in the fourth quarter.