First Chris Bosh got himself into the game and soon after the rest of his teammates followed.
Bosh, out of the lineup for the past 11 days because of a strained right groin, made his presence known right away with a perfectly timed block on the Rockets' first offensive series. But it wasn't until the third quarter that the full Bosh game really kicked in.
Not surprisingly, that moment coincided with the moment the Raptors turned the game in their favour as they outscored the visiting Houston Rockets 28-11 in the quarter on their way to an impressive 93-80 win.
Down by as many as 14 from the earliest moments of the game, the Raptors hung around for the first half, primarily on the strength of their defence. Then, they climbed on their big man's back in the third when the offence came around and the shots started falling to earn a four-point lead by the end of the quarter.
The Raptors just extended it from that point on. The size of the comeback (14 points) was a season high.
"The thing I love about this team is we stayed with it," Bosh said. "No matter what happened, we continued to stay with the planned defence and keep taking those shots because those shots we normally make. We just have to continue to pat each other on the back a little."
Bosh and Anthony Parker led the third-quarter charge with seven and nine points, respectively. The Raptors, though, didn't have their first lead until Rasho Nesterovic tipped in a Bosh miss with 3:52 to go in the quarter. The Raptors never trailed again.
Bosh finished the game with a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds, not bad for a guy who was supposed to be working himself back into game shape.
"He had fresh legs," Kris Humphries explained, trying good-naturedly to take a little of the wow out of Bosh's performance. "Some people come back and struggle with their timing and hitting shots but he was able to get in a good practice (Saturday) and produce. Hats off to him. It's tough to do. Some people come back and play a few minutes. He came back and played what, 40 minutes? It's crazy."
Humphries teamed with Nesterovic to hold 7-foot-6 monster Yao Ming to just 15 points and six rebounds. On offence, Humphries had 16 points and nine rebounds (four of them on the offensive end) in just over 23 minutes.
"Hump did a great job. What more can I say?" Bosh said. "He knocked down 15-footers, which I know is rare for you guys to see, but he can do that. He's been doing the things we need him to do."
As much of a different team this is with Bosh in the lineup, the man himself says it's more about everyone on the team playing with confidence, moreso than anything he might bring to the table.
"I just want these guys to play with confidence," Bosh said. "It's about us feeding off of each other and making each other play hard and playing for each other. When we do that, we play better on defence. We feel like we're letting each other down if our guy scores and that's not a bad thing."