TORONTO - Chris Bosh led a balanced attack with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors neutralized Chris Paul on the way to a 98-92 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday afternoon.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Raptors (13-17), who have won two straight following a two-game losing streak. Jarrett Jack had 15 points and seven assists in place of the injured Jose Calderon (sore hip), while Hedo Turkoglu added 14, Bargnani 13 and DeMar DeRozan 10.
Amir Johnson added a season-best 12 rebounds off the bench for Toronto.
David West led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets (12-14), who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. Emeka Okafor added 16 points and 11 rebounds in defeat, while Peja Stojakovic had 12.
Chris Paul, who came into the game averaging 21.4 points per game, was held to just 10 on 3-of-13 shooting. He added eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Raptors saw a four-point halftime lead erased when Stojakovic, who went just 1-for-7 in the first half, scored seven straight points midway through the third quarter. Paul followed with a nifty bounce pass to Okafor, who laid it in and drew the foul to give New Orleans the lead.
The ACC crowd came alive after Sonny Weems tossed a lob to DeRozan for a thunderous dunk, and the Raptors rode that momentum to a quarter-ending 12-2 run, and a 76-69 advantage entering the fourth.
The Raptors stretched the lead to nine on a short Bosh jumper with 7:31 remaining, but New Orleans countered with a 6-0 run capped by an Okafor layup. New Orleans closed to within two on a pair of Paul free throws with 1:05 left before Bosh shut the door on the Hornets, grabbing a rebound of a Bargnani missed three and hitting a reverse layup.
Paul was called for travelling on New Orleans' next possession, and the Raptors made a pair of free throws down the stretch to ice it.
Toronto shot 47.1 per cent for the game while limiting New Orleans to 38.9 per cent from the field, and finished with a 52-50 rebounding advantage.
Jack was solid in the early going, scoring five points during a 10-0 run that put the Raptors up 14-6. A Brown three-pointer trimmed the deficit to three, but Bosh helped Toronto hang onto the lead with a long jumper from the right elbow. His 10 first-quarter points propelled the Raptors to a 26-22 advantage after one.
Paul left the game for the first time early in the second quarter, favouring the same left ankle that forced him to miss eight games. The Raptors failed to take advantage - James Posey hit a three to put New Orleans up by two, and by the time Paul re-entered the game, the Hornets had a 41-38 lead.
Bosh and Bargnani answered with short jumpers, and Bosh made a 15-foot fadeaway jumper while being fouled as Toronto went back ahead. Bosh led all scorers with 15 first-half points as the Raptors led 51-47 at the break.
Notes: Calderon has missed seven of the last eight games. There is no timetable for his return. ... Hornets G Morris Peterson was given a rousing ovation late in the first quarter. Peterson spent his first seven seasons in Toronto, and remains the franchise's all-time leader in games played (542) and three-pointers made (801). ... Paul came into the game averaging 17.9 points, 14.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals in seven games since his return from injury. ... Toronto plays a home-and-home series against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and Sunday before hosting the Charlotte Bobcats, who handed the Raptors a 116-81 drubbing last month.