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Sun, Nov 22, 2009 - 12:30 PM ET
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Carter finds stroke to help Magic win fifth straight

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TORONTO (AP)

A halftime change of footwear helped Vince Carter find his shooting stroke. Carter scored 24 points, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 12 rebounds and the Orlando Magic won their fifth straight game, 104-96 over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Carter finished 9 for 24 from the field after going 2 for 11 in the first half. "The first half was a rough one," Carter said, adding that he was "a little overly aggressive." That changed after Carter switched his shoes. "My shoes in the first half were all blue," Carter said. "I changed back to the black ones, the old faithful that I wore in Boston." His feet back in the shoes that he wore to score 26 points in Friday's road win over the Celtics, Carter came out in the third and scored 12 points. So, what will Carter do with the blue shoes? "Those are done," he said, laughing. "I gave them away." As usual, Toronto fans booed Carter every time he touched the ball. "I think half the people don't have any idea why they're booing him, it's just become tradition to boo him," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "That's OK. He thinks it's funny, we think its funny. It's really irrelevant." J.J. Redick added 19 points, Jason Williams had 16 and Rashard Lewis added 11 for the Magic, who have won eight of 10. Chris Bosh scored 22 points, Jose Calderon had 16 and Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 for Toronto, which has lost four of five. The Raptors are 4-2 at home this season, with both defeats coming against the Magic. "Their defense is one of the best, that's why they are 11-3," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. Orlando used 17 3-pointers to beat Toronto 125-116 on Nov. 1 despite playing without Carter (left ankle), Lewis (suspension) and Mickael Pietrus (flulike symptoms). All three were healthy for this one, but it was lesser-known players who extended the lead in the final quarter. With Howard and Carter already on the bench, things looked good for Toronto when Lewis also sat down after picking up his fifth foul at 10:27 of the fourth. Five seconds later, Turkoglu tied it at 80 with a pair of free throws. But with their three leading scorers all sitting, the Magic didn't fold. Redick and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers, Redick made a jumper and Ryan Anderson hit two free throws to give Orlando a 90-80 lead with 7:19 left. "That's not exactly the lineup that everybody writes about when they're writing about the Orlando Magic," Van Gundy said. "That was on the road against a good team and those guys did a great job extending the lead. They took the lead to double figures. You can't ask for more than that." Redick said the Magic learned not to panic in such situations when they were forced to play without Lewis and Carter earlier this season. "It wasn't like we looked around and said 'Holy crap, we don't have an All-Star on the floor,"' Redick said. "We just went out and played with a group that has been successful before." Williams added another 3 before Carter and Howard returned with 6:05 remaining, but Toronto wasn't done. Trailing by 13 after two Howard free throws, Jarrett Jack made a 3 from the corner before Amir Johnson hit a layup, then put back Turkoglu's miss to make it 97-91 with 2:32 left. Carter made sure the Raptors didn't get any closer, making two free throws and later hitting a jumper to keep Orlando's lead secure.
Johnson scored a season-high 14 points while Andrea Bargnani fouled out with 11 points and nine rebounds. Jack matched a career-high with 11 assists and his eight rebounds were a season-high. Howard had yet to score when he was forced to the bench after picking up his second foul at 5:59 of the first. He returned for the second and had eight points in the quarter as the Magic used an 18-5 run to erase a 10-point deficit. Carter didn't take a shot in the quarter but Ryan Anderson's 3-pointer from the corner with 1.6 seconds left gave Orlando a 50-49 lead. Howard headed back to the bench after picking up his fourth foul at 2:48 of the third, and Johnson capped a 9-2 run with a three-point play to put the Raptors on top. Carter made a jumper with 1.4 seconds left to tie it at 76 heading into the fourth.

Notes

Williams made his third straight start in place of point guard Jameer Nelson, who underwent left knee surgery last week and is expected to miss four to six weeks. ... Van Gundy received a technical for arguing in the first and Howard got one for arguing in the third. ... Toronto's Antoine Wright (left ankle) sat for the fourth time in five games. ... Raptors G Marco Belinelli (left groin) did not dress after injuring himself in Friday's victory over Miami.
Tagged: Magic, Raptors

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