NEW ORLEANS, March 21 (Ticker) --
In the Crescent City, where parades
are a beloved part of the culture, the Toronto Raptors upstaged
the New Orleans Hornets' record-setting parade to the free-throw
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scored eight of his 42 points in overtime,
including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining, to
lift the Raptors to a 121-120 victory over the Hornets.
Toronto (30-39) rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final
eight minutes of regulation and won despite the Hornets setting
franchise records by going 46-of-60 from the line -- both NBA
Carter, a perennial All-Star, was 13-of-20 from the field,
including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and 12-of-13 from the line. He
also tied a career high with 12 assists in his second 40-point
game of the season.
"I feel old right now," Carter said while icing his left knee
and ankle. "But April 14, it's all over. Either we have a
second season or I'll rest all my wounds. I'm just trying to
impose my will on the game and this team and let them know I
want to win as badly as anyone out there."
Toronto won for the third time in four games and moved one game
behind Cleveland for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
"Vince Carter was phenomenal tonight," said Raptors guard Jalen Rose
, who had 26 points and nine assists. "He gave us a
versatile game. We fed off of that energy. I can't give enough
credit to him. He stepped up big-time."
Toronto trailed, 96-87, after Darrell Armstrong
fast-break layup with 7:41 to go in regulation. It was 109-104
after Baron Davis
made two free throws with 58 seconds to go,
but New Orleans committed two turnovers in the final 35 seconds
and Rose's layup with 22 seconds left forced overtime.
Both teams missed chances in the final five seconds of the
fourth quarter. Davis lost the ball out of bounds with 1.8
seconds remaining, but Toronto's Donyell Marshall
missed an open
3-pointer at the buzzer.
New Orleans twice led by three points in overtime, but the
Raptors scored on six of their last seven possessions, taking
the lead for good, 119-117, on a 3-pointer by Carter.
forced a jump ball after the Hornets fed Jamaal Magloire
in the paint. Bosh won the tip to Carter, who was
fouled and made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left.
"(Getting the ball to Magloire) gave us our best chance,"
Hornets coach Tim Floyd
said. "It was going to be a
high-percentage shot or a free throw. It didn't work out."
After shooting 42 free throws in the third and fourth quarters,
New Orleans attempted just two in overtime.
Davis led New Orleans (36-34) with 29 points, including 25 after
halftime, adding six assists and five steals. Magloire had 23
points and 18 rebounds.
The Hornets outrebounded the Raptors, 48-32, but allowed Toronto
to shoot 52.5 percent (42-of-80) from the field, including
11-of-22 from 3-point range.
"It just seemed like we collapsed, especially defensively," said
New Orleans forward P.J. Brown
, whose team lost for the eighth
time in 12 games. "You have to clamp down defensively and we
didn't get the job done. This is one we definitely thought we