No tricks, just treats

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

TORONTO -- This was a Halloween treat the Raptors wish they could drop into their fans' loot bags every night of the home schedule.

Struggling against the unorthodox run-and-gun Golden State Warriors and a poor shooting performance from big-money man Jermaine O'Neal, they hung in through an intense fourth quarter, nearly won it at the buzzer and then rode eight straight points for a 112-108 overtime win.

A festive crowd of 19,800 lapped it up, sensing their team is capable of big things in this NBA season. The Raptors' back court and Andrea Bargnani made up for O'Neal's drought and the new guy did his part with three big blocks. Point guard Jose Calderon had 13 assists and 16 points, guard Anthony Parker 23.

"These kind of wins lead to great character," O'Neal said.

"If you're having a bad night, you have to support everyone else."

What O'Neal lacked up front, 2-for-10 and five points overall, he made up for on defence, while Bargnani had 19 points and had an overtime block for three on the night.

"I'm just proud of them all," coach Sam Mitchell said. "Every time we needed a stop on defence, we got it. They had a size advantage (Golden State stuck with a big lineup most of the night), we just sucked it up.

"Since Chris Bosh came back from the Olympics, his mindset has been defence and he just challenged everyone tonight."

The Raptors, who want to get back to the 30 home-win territory of a couple of years ago, brought themselves to a franchise home record mark of 259-259 with the victory.

They did look weak on the boards, outrebounded 17-6 on offence, but chipped away at Golden State's second-half lead before Calderon and Bosh hooked up to give them a one-point lead with 43 seconds to go.

O'Neal's final block of the night would've sealed it, except it went right to Al Harrington, who cooly sank a three-pointer. Bosh struggled at the foul line until sinking both with 15 seconds to tie it and another pair in OT to finish with 31 points.

The Raptors thought they caught a break at the end of regulation when Corey Maggette fell attempting the game-winner and with seven-tenths of a second and Bargnanai inbounding, Parker's bid to win it and break 20 points rimmed out. But the Raps were all business in the extra period.

"I'm really proud of Andrea (19 points)," Mitchell said. "He had a tough game in Philadelphia and was very quiet today. But he worked (on defence) through the summer and got to apply it tonight."


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