Raptors storm back to win

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Corey (Homicide) Williams had a killer fourth quarter, while rookie forward Charlie Villanueva also knocked them dead as the Raptors finally moved into the pre-season win column last night.

Williams came off the bench to score nine points in the fourth, including five from the free-throw line, while Villanueva led Toronto with 24 points in a 107-105 overtime victory over the New Jersey Nets at the Air Canada Centre.

Villanueva, who was selected by Toronto seventh overall in this year's NBA draft, added seven rebounds and provided some last-second heroics when he nailed three consecutive free throws with 1.6 seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter to force overtime after being fouled by Derrick Zimmerman while launching a three-pointer.

"I actually felt like I was in a video game," Villanueva said of the three free throws. "I was out there (feeling) no pressure at all."

Villanueva was 1-for-5 from the foul line prior to his three in a row late in the fourth quarter.

Coach Sam Mitchell stuck with his young lineup late in the fourth quarter and throughout overtime and was rewarded with some eye-opening performances, although his club was out-rebounded again (49-37).

"It's nice. And it's even nicer that some of the free agents we have came in and had a chance to play and played well. I was happy for those guys," Mitchell said.

Vince Carter, who has discovered a few more gears since being traded to New Jersey from the Raptors last season, scored 20 points with three assists and three boards to lead the Nets' charge. Marc Jackson also had 20.

There were many positives to take out of last night's game for Mitchell. First-year point guard Jose Calderon had his best game thus far off the bench, scoring 15 points with six assists and a couple of steals. But the best news for the Raptors was the return of veteran guard Alvin Williams.

Williams, who missed last season after having microfracture surgery on his right knee, received an ovation from the 13,942 fans at the ACC. He promptly contributed by intercepting a pass from Marc Jackson. He played just under five minutes, before taking a seat.

The Philadelphia native was thrilled to experience his first game action since March 19, 2004, but said that it's going to take him a while to get his rhythm and game fitness.

"It's going to be frustrating," Williams said, of his comeback. "But it's going to be fun."

Five Raptors did not dress because of injury: Pape Sow (strained groin), Joey Graham (left knee tendinitis), Eric Williams (sore right knee), Morris Peterson (sprained right ankle), and Aaron Williams (sprained left ankle).

The Raptors started by shooting 21% from the floor (4-for-19) and trailed 21-15.


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