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Calderon's triple-double lifts Raptors to win

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- When Jose Calderon grabbed the rebound in the final seconds after a missed 3-point attempt by Carlos Delfino, the Toronto Raptors point guard had his second triple-double of the season and his career.

Even better for the Raptors, it came at the end of a 103-96 victory over the Houston Rockets before a crowd of 17,863 at Air Canada Centre.

It was the Raptors' second win in a row as Alan Anderson came off the bench to equal his career high with 24 points, 15 in the fourth quarter.

"It was nice because it came with a win, I'm really happy," Calderon said of his triple-double. "I made up my mind, I just want to be the most professional player in the NBA. I don't know if I'm going to be on the court or not but I want this team to win. This is my team and this is what I've been doing for eight years now and that's what I do."

Calderon was fouled on his was back up the court after picking up the rebound and he missed his first free throw before hitting his second to finish with 18 points to go with 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

"It was a last-second thing so that's why I kind of missed the free throw so I was kind of upset with myself," Calderon said. "But I was really excited about it."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said, "He's a solid professional. He is going to win a lot basketball games for you. He did a good job defensively on Jeremy Lin. Amir Johnson and Ed Davis also did a heck of a job especially in the pick-and-roll situations."

DeMar DeRozan added 19 points for the Raptors and Davis chipped in with 13 points.

James Harden led Houston with 28 points. Marcus Morris added 19, Chandler Parsons 12 and Delfino had 10 coming off the bench. Omer Asik had 13 rebounds and seven points for the Rockets.

"We did not play well enough," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We did not play well enough together. There were too many mistakes defensively. They made some big shots. We never got locked in defensively. They had 13 blocked shots. They are not a great rim protecting team but they did a good job against us. We had opportunities around the basket but we had a hard time finishing."

Sunday's victory followed one over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Winning has been difficult for the Raptors (6-19) this season.

"Like I said the other day, I think the team deserves these kinds of wins, we've been working so hard," Calderon said. "We've been practicing hard, we've been staying together, we were trying to do a lot of things. I know it has been tough times and we couldn't put that in the wins but I think everybody is doing a great job to keep everybody together."

Casey said, "The key is that we didn't turn the ball over, we only gave up three in the second half. Alan (Anderson) did a heck of a job. Anytime you are physical on a guy like Harden it wears on you. The main thing is he made his free throws (9 for 9)."

Harden added, "They got off to a good start especially in the first quarter being up 8-0, and the beginning of the third quarter. We allowed ourselves to get down in the beginning and tried to fight back. Guys just weren't making shots, including myself."

The Raptors led by six points entering the final quarter and after Anderson's second consecutive 3-pointer of the quarter the lead was 85-76 with 7:59 to play.

The Rockets (11-12) moved back to within five points but Terrence Ross hit a jumper for a 91-84 lead with 4:26 to play. It was 93-84 after Anderson made two free throws.

But Parsons came back with a driving jumper and made the resulting free throw to cut the lead to six with 2:56 to play.

Greg Smith's slam dunk with 2:19 to play brought Houston to within four points. And when Ross missed a pair of free throws, the Rockets had the ball with 1:41 left. But Delfino missed a 3-point attempt and DeRozan nabbed the rebound. Calderon was fouled by Lin and made both free throws for a 95-89 lead with 1:07 to play.

Delfino hit a six-foot driving hook to cut the lead to four and, after a Toronto miss, hit a fadeaway jumper to make the score 95-93.

Calderon hit a pair of free throws with 19.7 seconds to play to put Toronto up by four points. Johnson picked up his fifth foul with 17 seconds left and Harden hit both free throws to reduce the lead to two again.

Anderson came back to make both his free throws for a 99-95 lead with 13.9 seconds left.

It was a three-point game when Anderson picked up his fifth foul and Parsons was 1 for 2 on the free throws.

Anderson put the game away with a driving reverse layup and made the resulting free throw.

The game was tied at the end of the first half. The Raptors opened a 64-57 lead on a jump shot by DeRozan with 5:25 to play in the third quarter.

Lin's 3-pointer cut the lead to four. After Calderon missed a 3-point attempt, Harden grabbed the rebound and made a driving layup at the other end to bring the Rockets to within two points. But Anderson's 3-pointer had the Raptors up 75-67 with 1:32 left in the third. The Raptors led 77-71 after the third with Davis scoring 13 points in the quarter.

The Raptors led by as many as 12 points in the opening quarter but Houston's shooters began to find the range and the Rockets led 28-26 entering the second quarter. It was 49-49 at the half.

Notes: Morris started Sunday's game for the Rockets for Patrick Patterson who has an ankle injury. It was the first start for Morris since the opening game of the season. Patterson had made 22 consecutive starts. ... The Raptors are still without Andrea Bargnani (right elbow), Kyle Lowry (right triceps) and Landry Fields (right elbow) and went with the same lineup that defeated Dallas 95-74 on Friday. ... The Rockets came to Toronto after winning two in a row at Toyota Center where they are 26-4 in December since 2008. ... Houston plays in New York against the Knicks on Monday. Lin became an overnight sensation with the Knicks during last season before signing in the off-season with Houston. "He's one of the top point guards in the league, he sees the court," Casey said before the game. "He's bigger and stronger than you think." ... The Rockets defeated the Raptors 117-101 at Houston on Nov. 27 in the teams' first meeting of the season. ... Rookies Ross and Terrence Jones of the Rockets attended Jefferson High School in Portland, Ore., together. ... The Raptors' next game is Tuesday at Cleveland.
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