On a day when the Toronto Raptors were considering honoring Vince Carter for their 15 year anniversary, the man formerly known as Air Canada politely declined a formal ceremony and decided to honor himself with a W. In his return to the ACC, this time with the Magic, Carter stayed agressive throughout the game and helped Orlando pull out the 104-96 win.
I attended the game and let me tell you it was a great experience being part of the raucous crowd who gave it to Vince Carter every time he touched the ball. Although I do appreciate what he did as a Raptor, he is now the enemy. Games versus Carter are a huge part of the whole Raptors experience!
You could see the showering of boo`s affecting Vince`s game early, as he forced the issue too often in the first quarter, even missing a dunk. Unfortunately for the home crowd, he settled in nicely, finishing with 24 points. He finished 9-24 with 8 boards. A couple baskets came on strong drives for dunks down the lane and a key fadeaway jumper as time expired at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Although the Magic shot only 9-32 from the 3-point line, Orlando guards J.J Redick and Jason Williams torched the Raps for a combined 6-10 from the arc, many of which were momentum-stopping 3`s. Dwight Howard was a non-factor early as Bosh took it to him, keeping D12 in foul trouble the whole first half. But Bosh wasn`t as agressive in the 2nd half, allowing Howard to stay on the floor, get some key buckets inside and draw a number of shooting fouls in traffic.
A couple bright spots for the Raps were the play of bench guys, Jarrett Jack, who had 11 assists, and Amir Johnson who had 14 points, 8 rebounds on 6-7 shooting in 29 energetic minutes.
You win this round Vince… Until next time…