Bosh something special

Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh had a personal best 41 points against the Orlando Magic in Toronto on...

Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh had a personal best 41 points against the Orlando Magic in Toronto on Wednesday. (Sun Media/Mark O'Neill)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Stopping Dwight Howard proved to be as tough as the Raptors expected, but it's not as if the home team didn't have an answer.

Chris Bosh, who has been turning a few heads himself around the NBA, matched the Orlando Magic's 6-foot-11, 265-pound monster basket for basket, dunk for dunk and rebound for rebound through three quarters, then took over in the fourth as the Raps pulled away for a 113-103 victory.

It was the Raptors' season-high fourth consecutive win and 13th in their past 17 games. They are now just four games out of the lead in the Eastern Conference.

Howard made just about every shot that he took -- most of them right under the basket -- and finished the night with a career-high 32 points on 13-of-14 shooting from the floor.

But it was Bosh who took his game to another level on this night with a career-high 41 points of his own -- topping his previous best by four -- including 15 points from free throws. His 31 in the second half was a franchise record for a regulation game.

"Chris carried us tonight," Morris Peterson said. "We rode his coattails and he took us to the promised land. We fed off his energy."

Even before he closed in on that season high, the 15,157 on hand last night at the Air Canada Centre sensed something special.

As he extended a Raptors lead to six points midway through the third quarter from the foul line, the arena erupted in chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!"

By the time he stepped away from the line, the entire house was on board with the chant. Once into the fourth quarter, the chant took on a life of its own rising with just about every Bosh basket. The appreciation was not lost on the Raps' leading scorer.

"I was trying to be serious at the free-throw line, but I had to crack a couple of smiles even though I knew we still had a job to do," he admitted.

Head coach Sam Mitchell, who makes a point to avoid complimenting his star player, couldn't help himself last night.

"When he is making his jump shot and getting to the basket, he is just hard to guard," Mitchell said. "What more can you say? I've been telling him the past two years that if he can make free throws, he can get 40 points in a game and beat my career high, and he finally did it."

For the record Mitchell's career high was also 37.

Almost lost in the shadow of Bosh's performance was yet another outstanding effort by the Raptors' two-headed point-guard tandem of Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford.

Both players had double-doubles with Calderon finishing with 10 points and 11 assists in just shy of 23 minutes while Ford had the exact line in 26-plus minutes.

Bosh wasn't about to let that go unnoticed.

"I've been playing well, but they've been playing a lot better," he said. "They've been getting the whole team involved every night."

As Bosh was finishing up his post-game media scrum, Howard entered the Raps dressing room prematurely ending the questions. Turns out even the opposition had to mark this kind of evening.


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