Ford hears the cheers

FRANK ZICARELLI

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

The ACC faithful gave T.J. Ford a resounding ovation when the lightning-quick point guard entered last night's game in the second quarter.

As soon as Ford made his way to the scorers' table, fans stood in unison and warmly greeted Ford when his name was called.

Ford hasn't appeared on the ACC floor since Dec. 9. Two nights later, Ford's career appeared in jeopardy after Hawks rookie forward Al Horford sent Ford crashing to the court in Atlanta.

Ford, who has a history of neck problems, suffered a stinger and didn't return to the roster until this past Monday's road game in Miami.

Against the L.A. Clippers last night, Ford had an immediate impact by pushing the ball and looking to find his teammates.

He recorded his first assist by creating for Andrea Bargnani and scored his first basket when Ford mesmerized Dan Dickau with a behind-the-back move en route to an uncontested layup.

As much as people want to debate the merits of Ford and Jose Calderon as the incumbent, Ford's quickness is so lethal that teams can't even set up defensively.

With Calderon picking up his third foul, Ford finished the first half by running the team's offence.

ONE OF 1,000

Last night's tip marked the 1,000th game in Raptors history.

The expansion team played its first game in 1995, a memorable matchup that pitted the roundball neophytes against the New Jersey Nets.

Alvin Robertson would make history by recording the Raptors' first basket, a three-pointer.

This after Robertson spent the night in jail in the wake of an altercation with a woman.

For the record, Ed Pinckney, the Raptors' first team captain, won the game's opening tap against Yinka Dare.


Videos

Photos