Coming in all the talk was about Gilbert Arenas. How many points was the Washington Wizards' guard going to score against the Raptors? How were the Raptors going to stop him?
But leaving the Air Canada Centre last night the names on everyone's lips were Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon.
The Raptors duo made Arenas an afterthought as they led an offensive charge that resulted in a 119-109 win over the Eastern Conference leading Wizards and yet another confidence boost for a team that has taken huge strides in the month of January.
Bosh missed his first four shots of the night before hitting 15 in a row, including a buzzer-beater from beyond half court as the third quarter was ending.
"That's the first time but I guess there's a first time for everything," Bosh said of hitting 15 in a row. "Now I'm kind of addicted to that feeling and I hope every game can go like that."
His 34 points were tops on the night, but of no less importance were the career high 24 points and 11 assists from Calderon.
Calderon wasn't expected to start with T.J. Ford coming back from an ankle injury after a four-game absence. Ford though, seeing the way the team was playing with Calderon starting at the point, told coach Sam Mitchell before the game that he was ready to go but he still felt Calderon should start.
"Those two guys know each other, they respect each other and that's what we talk about all the time, making sacrifices," Mitchell said.
"I told Jose before the game, 'That's a sign of how much respect T.J. has for you as a person and a player.' "
Not only is Ford not back to 100% but he recognizes the rhythm the team is in with Calderon right now and he didn't want to mess with that.
"Look, he's been playing well and he deserves it," Ford said. "I only had a couple of days of practice so I felt that was the best decision for the team. As long as I'm playing and I'm not close to 100% (which he is not), I think he deserves to (start)."
Not only was Calderon a monster on the offensive side but he was a big part of helping limit Arenas.
In the first half, the NBA's second-leading scorer was held to just six points. Arenas finished the night with a respectable 27 points but that was a far cry from the 50 he was threatening to make up for an earlier visit to Toronto this year when the Wizards and Arenas came out flat.
The Raptors shot a season-high .593 from the field. A 43-point third quarter was the highest in franchise history.