Raptors win as strong defense stops Mavericks

Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:22pm EST
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By Roger Lajoie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Chris Bosh scored 17 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to their third successive win with a 92-76 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

Kris Humphries had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors (13-10), who were without injured guard T.J. Ford, who was kept overnight in an Atlanta hospital on Tuesday after hitting his head on the floor following a foul by the Hawks' Al Horford.

Ford, who has a history of back and neck injuries that kept him out of the entire 2004-05 season, was cleared of any serious injury and returned to Toronto on Wednesday.

"We just hope we can get him past this and when he feels up to it, he'll let me know," said Toronto coach Sam Mitchell. "We are relieved he's feeling better."

Ford, who sat on the Toronto bench in the second quarter and received a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd of 19,800, said there was no timetable for his return.

"I don't know how long I'll be out, it all depends on how quickly my body recovers," said Ford.

The Raptors turned in a strong defensive performance against the Mavericks (14-9), who scored a season-low in points.

"You have to play great defense to win in the playoffs and we did that," said Bosh. "I'm really proud of my team mates."   Continued...

<p>Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani goes to the basket against Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto, December 12, 2007. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese</p>