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12/16/2012 6:10 PM EST
Calderon's triple-double helps Raptors top Rockets
TORONTO 103, HOUSTON 96

TORONTO (AP) -- Add tight defense to a triple-double, and it was
quite a game for Jose Calderon.



Calderon had 18 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds to lead
short-handed Toronto over the Houston Rockets 103-96 Sunday,
giving the Raptors consecutive wins for the first time in eight
long months.



Calderon started for the third straight game in place of the
injured Kyle Lowry, who has a tear in his right triceps.



The 31-year-old Spanish guard, who's the longest serving Raptor,
has been a perennial backup in Toronto.



"I made up my mind, I 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," he said.



"This is my team, this is what I've been doing for eight years
now, and that's what I do. I know my teammates know that,
there's the trust behind it, it's really comfortable to play
with these guys," he said.



Calderon also held Rockets guard Jeremy Lin to just seven points
and two assists.



"Huge," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Calderon's game. "He's
a solid pro. I love him, he's going to win a lot of basketball
games for you. Defensively, he did a solid job on Lin. I just
can't say enough about Jose."



The Rockets have now lost seven straight on the road, a stretch
that goes back to Nov. 2. It's their worst road losing streak
since they dropped eight straight in 2001.



"It was a disappointing one," Lin said. "We obviously didn't get
the win and I don't think we played particularly well. Not the
best feeling."



Lin had plenty of fans in the Air Canada Centre crowd cheering
him on. He was in the midst of "Linsanity" on a previous trip to
Toronto last February, draining a 3 at the buzzer to lead the
New York Knicks to a victory over the Raptors.



The Raptors played their third consecutive game without second-
and third-leading scorers Andrea Bargnani and Lowry. Bargnani is
out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his right elbow and a
strained right wrist, while Lowry has a tear in his right
triceps.



Alan Anderson had 24 points, while DeMar DeRozan added 19 points
for the Raptors, who hadn't won consecutive games since April 13
and 15 of last season.



Ed Davis added 13 points for Toronto.



James Harden scored 28 points for the Rockets, while Marcus
Morris added 19.



The Raptors took a 77-71 lead into the fourth quarter, and
stretched their advantage to nine points. But Houston made for
some tense moments late in the game, cutting Toronto's lead to
four points with a couple of minutes to go.



Carlos Delfino made two baskets in the final 1:04 against his
former team to pull the Rockets to within two points, but
Calderon sunk two free throws to put Toronto back up by four.



The teams traded free throws for most of the final minute.
Harden, last season's Sixth Man award winner for Oklahoma City,
drained a pair, Anderson went to the line to sink two, and then
Chandler Parsons missed one of two with 13 seconds left.



Anderson scored on a driving reverse layup with 11 seconds to go
to seal the victory for Toronto.



NOTES: The Rockets beat Toronto 117-101 last month. . . The
Rockets wore a green stripe on their jerseys in memory of coach
Kevin McHale's daughter Sasha, who died last month of lupus at
the age of 23. Green was her favorite color. . . Raptors rookie
Jonas Valanciunas was presented with the Lithuanian player of
the year award from Lithuanian legend Arvydas Sabonis before
tipoff. . . The Raptors are in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers
on Tuesday. They return home to host Detroit on Wednesday and
Orlando on Friday.

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