Turkoglu returns with protective face mask as Raps rally to down Kings 115-104

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TORONTO - No one had to ask who the masked man was.
It was Toronto Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu, who wore it reluctantly Sunday to protect an orbital-bone fracture below the right eye.
But it did not prevent him from scoring 16 points, nine in the first quarter, in an aggressive performance as the Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-104 before a crowd of 18,007 at the Air Canada Centre.
"It wasn't that bad at all," Turkoglu said, although he was adjusting the mask during the game. "You need time and I think I'll get used to it in a couple more games. I'll be over with it hopefully and won't have to wear it again."
Turkoglu also had five assists before fouling out with 1:27 left in the game.
Chris Bosh led the Raptors (28-23) with 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Andrea Bargnani added 22 and Antoine Wright scored 16. In the fourth quarter, Bosh scored 12 points with five rebounds and Wright had 10 points as the Raptors outscored the Kings 31-17 to rally for the win.
Kevin Martin led the Kings (16-34) with 24 points, Spencer Hawes added 14 and Donte Greene had 13 points as he made three consecutive three-pointers to give Sacramento the lead in the third quarter.
The Raptors trailed by three entering the fourth and were soon behind by seven points early in the quarter but tightened up on defence and began to take over the game.
The Kings helped the Raptors by going 25-for-36 from the free-throw line, including 4-for-9 in the fourth quarter.
"We missed a lot of free throws," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "We couldn't control Bosh and Antoine Wright made some big plays for them."
The Raptors held Kings' guard Tyreke Evans to 11 points but he had nine assists. Late in the game Wright did a good job guarding Evans.
"Everybody is involved in it," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. "But he still makes plays for other people. We didn't want to get too sucked into the paint trying to help on him and have them kick back for threes."
Turkoglu suffered the non-displaced fracture below his right eye early in a game against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 31. He was struck by Mike Dunleavy's elbow as he drove to the basket.
He missed the next two games as he was fitted for the mask that doctors and the team insisted he needed to wear to protect the injury.
He was one of three Raptors who returned from injury for the game.
DeMar DeRozan started at guard after missing five games with a sprained right ankle and scored seven points. Point guard Jose Calderon was back on the bench after missing a game because of a sprained right ankle and also scored seven.
Turkoglu practised with the mask but said he preferred not to wear it. But doctors said that he needed to wear it to protect the injury. Turkoglu feared it would hamper him.
"They wanted me to wear it, but I didn`t" he said.
But he decided to wear it. "I wanted to look at the big picture for my career, for my life, and from the team`s perspective," he said. "If I get hit it could keep me out longer than expected. I don't need to be stupid or be a hero about it. I just have to put it on and try to do the best I can. 1/8Today 3/8 I tried to focus on the game. I wanted to play aggressive and play my game."
He said he hoped that after break for next Sunday's all-star game that the injury will be healed enough to allow him to discard the mask, which does bring some discomfort.
"I have to keep fixing it," he said. "That was it. It's not just from the mask it's from the 1/8straps 3/8 on the head they go up and down and you sweat. When I run, I have to keep fixing it because when I'm driving it seems like it moves and covers my eyes. I think when I get used to it I`ll feel more comfortable."
The Raptors are five games over .500 for the first time since March 11, 2008, when they were 34-29.
Notes: Raptors guard Marco Belinelli did not play because of a sore left ankle. ... Toronto has a 13-1 home record since Dec. 13 to give the Raptors a season home record of 19-6, one more win than last year's home record in 16 fewer games. ... Raptors are home to Philadelphia on Wednesday. ... Toronto has scored at least 100 points in a franchise-best 16 consecutive games.


Organizations: Toronto Raptors, Kings, Air Canada Centre Indiana Pacers

Geographic location: TORONTO, Sacramento, Philadelphia

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