Magics beat Raptors with inspired Carter

0108820N  Carter slam dunk contestNot surprisingly, Vince Carter quickly turned down the opportunity to be honored by his former team, the Toronto Raptors, on Sunday.

He didn’t turn down the chance to beat the Canadian club again and remind Raptors fans of his bittersweet legacy with some live highlights.

Carter led the Magic to a fifth consecutive win with a 104-96 triumph against the Raptors, ultimately silencing a crowd that has booed his every return to Air Canada Centre the past five seasons.

Carter scored 24 points, including a show-closing beat-the-traffic 21-foot jumper with 37 seconds left. The shot gave Orlando a nine-point lead and Carter another round of satisfaction.

Since forcing a trade from Toronto to New Jersey in 2004, he is 6-4 against the Raptors in the regular season. Two game-winning shots came as a member of the visiting Nets.

The Raptors have been celebrating their 15th anniversary as a franchise by honoring former players and coaches with video tributes during timeouts. Given the acrimonious back story of the relationship, the Raptors contacted the Magic to see if Carter might be a willing participant (or target) for the tribute.

George Galante, director of communications for the Magic, said he asked Carter if the Raptors could honor him, but Carter declined.

“Why would I want to do it? You heard it out there,” Carter said. “They came to me. It just didn’t make sense. Actually, it wasn’t as loud as it has been. It used to be deafening.”

Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo told the Sentinel a couple weeks ago that he was in favor of celebrating Carter because “Vince is part of our history.” But any gesture by the Raptors is now moot. It was Orlando’s final trip this season to Canada.


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