Magic 104 Raptors 96
TORONTO — Nearly five years after leaving Toronto, Vince Carter is still booed upon his return.
Sunday, he gave the Air Canada Centre fans one more reason to stew. Carter scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half as the Orlando Magic beat the Raptors 104-96. The ex-Raptors star overcame a wretched first half that saw him score just six points on 2-for-11 shooting.
Carter’s torrid second half allowed the Magic (11-3) to hand the Raptors (6-8) just their second home loss of the season. Orlando is responsible for both of Toronto’s home losses, this one coming in front of an ACC crowd of 17,233.
Forward Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 22 points while Jose Calderon added 16, Amir Johnson 14 and former Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu 12. Andrea Bargnani scored 11 points before fouling out with 4:15 left.
After the game, Carter said he doesn’t know why he’s still portrayed as the bad guy in Toronto.
“I don’t know why they are booing me to be honest,” Carter said. “But it’s all good. I enjoy playing in that atmosphere and I enjoy coming back here and playing and just being part of this.”
It was the second straight solid game for Carter, who scored 26 points in the Magic’s 83-78 win over Orlando on Friday.
The Raptors kept things close until the fourth quarter, when the Magic opened with a 14-4 run to take a 10-point lead. Toronto trimmed the deficit to six, but couldn’t get any closer.
“I thought they did a pretty good job throughout the whole game,” Raptors coach Jay Triano said. “Their defence is one of the best that is why they are 11-3.”
Triano credited Howard in particular with disrupting the Raptors’ dangerous offence.
“Dwight made it real tough for Chris,” Triano said. “He played him early before he could catch the ball and they showed lots of bodies.”
Carter missed the first Magic win in Toronto with a sprained left ankle that put him out of four early-season games. It took him a while to get going Sunday — but eventually he did, and said afterward that a shoe change made the difference.
“Second half, when I changed my shoes I was okay,” said Carter. “They were a little too blue. My shoes in the first half were all blue and I changed back to the black ones, the old faithful that I wore in Boston.”
Bosh believes it was a game the Raptors should have won.
“Looking at the score sheet, I really don’t know what to say,” Bosh said. “We gave up a lot of second chances (13) but they didn’t have a lot of second-chance points (16) which is a mystery to me. I think if we had tightened up the rebounding and made some shots it would have been a different game.”