Points productive

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon are on their way to making Raptors coach Sam Mitchell sound like a broken record.

Mitchell, we're sure, would have no problem with that.

For the fourth game in a row, but the only one of the four that really counts, Mitchell was left shaking his head at the near-flawless play of his two point guards, who lead the Raptors to a 106-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in both clubs' season opener.

Mitchell is not one to put too much stock in stats, but even he had to admit their combined stat line -- two turnovers, 16 assists and 29 points -- was unbelievable.

Ford, who played almost 31 minutes, had 12 assists and just one turnover while contributing 14 points. Calderon, in just under 18 minutes, had 13 points, four assists and just one turnover.

Ford says that is just the way it has to be.

"It's how it was last year," Ford said. "When we play well and the guys are able to get open it keeps their confidence up. We're just trying to do our part and coach always preaches just do your job."

Calderon said life as a Raptors point guard is even easier this year with the depth the team added in the off-season.

"This year we have more options," Calderon said. "Carlos (Delfino) and JK (Jason Kapono coming in, they can score too. Everyone on this team can score. For T.J. and I, the only problem we have is finding the guy who is hot at the moment. If we can play like we are, we're going to be okay."

As good as things are going, Ford already is thinking of the team's next game, tomorrow in New Jersey. It's a game he believes could spell the difference between improving or taking a step back from last season.

"I think (tomorrow) is going to be a big test because we have to do a better job of winning on the road," Ford said. Last season the Raptors were 30-11 at home but just 17-24 on the road.

"I think that's definitely how we'll separate ourselves from last year," Ford said.


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