Raps welcome back Jose

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

MIAMI -- Twenty four hours later and about 240 miles further south, the Raptors put the brakes on a disturbing trend.

A total of 44 turnovers in their previous two games with their leading ball-protector in street clothes had Raptors fans reaching for the panic button.

But the giveaway trend must have missed the charter that left Orlando late Tuesday night, while Jose Calderon's street clothes remained in the locker room, where he and the rest of his teammates would like them to stay.

And while it wasn't the lone reason the Raptors are back looking like a team to reckon with, after last night's 101-95 win over Miami, don't underestimate the impact a healthy-enough Calderon had on the entire team.

Calderon's stats sheet won't impress anyone. He finished the night with a modest eight points and seven assists while doing his characteristic solid job of protecting the ball.

"I was just trying to get everyone involved," Calderon said. "Sometimes, when you are not 100%, you try not to force things, so I was just trying to make good plays for my teammates."

WELL-AWARE

Having been a spectator the night before, Calderon was well-aware of the turnover problems the team had in his absence. But what got his attention was the way a handful of key Raptors never really got involved. So, Calderon made it his personal mission to rectify that. His success was as plain as the 19 points Anthony Parker contributed or the 25 the Raptors got out of Andrea Bargnani.

Parker, in particular, seemed back to his old self. His production last night was second only to a 23-point effort against Golden State as his season high.

After a slow start last night, Parker came on in the second half, nailing all five of his three-pointers.

"It was nice to see a couple go through the basket," Parker said. "It kind of relieved some of that pressure. The shot started feeling good, it felt like I was in a rhythm. Tonight's second half was just a good night."

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell noticed early in the game that Parker was hesitant to take the open shot and felt a reminder was in order.

"We just kept telling him: 'Shoot the basketball,' " Mitchell said. "We needed that, the team needed that and Anthony Parker needed that."

It was by no means an easy night for Parker, who also had to defend Dwyane Wade, who went off for 40 points but wound up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

"We have to reward AP sometimes," Chris Bosh said. "He is down there working his butt off on Wade and that's not an easy job. He had a lot of confidence, especially late in the game. He let some of those shots go and I was amazed. He was shooting rainbows up there but, when he doesn't hesitate, he's a great shooter."

Bargnani had quite the shooting night, himself, finishing with a team-high 25 points, including 3-of-4 from three-point land. He aggressively got Michael Beasley into some early foul trouble, then reaped the rewards by torching Daequan Cook for much of the rest of the first half.

Staying right where he has been for the better part of the past five games was Jermaine O'Neal, who is looking just about as comfortable on the offensive end as he has been defensively all season. O'Neal pulled down a team-high 17 boards while contributing 16 points and even three assists.


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