Ford makes early return

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

With the Raptors up by 21 points and the game just 14 minutes old, T.J. Ford headed to the scorer's table to check in.

Out the past eight weeks following a scary night in Atlanta when he had to be taken off the court on a stretcher, Ford's return to the court was delayed a little as Jose Calderon felt it was necessary to mark the moment with a little more than a slap of hands.

He stopped Ford on his way out and embraced him, catching the Raptors' returning point guard off-guard a little.

"My mind was probably floating," Ford said. "I didn't recognize the hug, but we respect one another, we care about one another and we support one another. We've never made it about one of us (over the other)."

Ford came in for five minutes in that stint and then played the entire fourth quarter.

He finished the game with four points and four assists in just under 17 minutes in a game he didn't even expect to be playing in.

"I think the performance speaks for itself," Ford said. "I don't think people expected me to be able to come in and still do the things I normally do. I don't think people anticipated that."

Ford said he joined the team on this trip expecting to get some practice in and re-connect with this teammates.

Sunday's practice went so well, though, he talked his way into playing.

"I wasn't limited at all," Ford said. "The biggest thing is I am healthy, I'm not playing hurt and that's the difference between now and a couple of months ago when I did come back early. Now I'm not injured."


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