Ford Injured in Raptors Win Over Hawks

Wednesday, December 12th 2007, 7:46 am
By: News On 6

T.J. Ford 's hard fall brought up bad memories for his teammates and other NBA players.

The Toronto Raptors point guard stole the ball and was headed toward a breakaway basket when Atlanta rookie Al Horford hit his face with his hand. Ford landed hard on his back, his head bouncing off the floor.

Ford, who missed the 2004-05 season with Milwaukee following neck surgery, was carried from the court on a stretcher and taken to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

``After a while I could see him moving and that was a relief,'' Toronto's Chris Bosh said, adding there was immediate concern about Ford because everyone knew his injury history.

``It turns my stomach because of who it is,'' Bosh said. ``Like I say, we know about his situation and everything.''

Horford was ejected with a flagrant foul with 1:32 left in the Raptors' 100-88 victory Tuesday night.

``He was conscious. He wasn't trying to move too much,'' Bosh said. ``I'm sure he was feeling pain in his arms and legs. I just hope he's OK.''

Raptors spokesman Jim LaBumbard confirmed Ford ``had feeling in his upper and lower extremities when he was taken off the floor.''

LaBumbard said it was expected Ford, who scored 26 points, would remain at the hospital through the night.

In other NBA games on Tuesday, it was: Cleveland 118, Indiana 105; Washington 102, Minnesota 88; the Los Angeles Clippers 91, New Jersey 82; Detroit 113, Memphis 103; Chicago 123, Seattle 96; Portland 97, Utah 89; and Golden State 96, San Antonio 84.

LeBron James and several of his Cleveland teammates watched in horror as replays of Ford crashing to the floor were shown on TVs in the Cavaliers' locker room.

``No, not again,'' Cavs forward Drew Gooden yelled.

Toronto coach Sam Mitchell reacted with immediate anger to the hard foul and had a brief exchange of words with Atlanta coach Mike Woodson.

``We're just concerned about T.J.,'' Mitchell said. ``There's not much more to say. We've just got to wait and see.''

Horford insisted he did not try to injure Ford.

``Definitely not. I'm not a dirty player,'' said Horford, who was alarmed by Ford's hard fall.

``When I saw his head hit twice, that's when I thought it was serious,'' he said.

Bosh, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds, said it didn't look like a dirty play.

``Al kind of mistimed it and hit him in his head,'' Bosh said. ``I don't think he meant to do it on purpose. He was making a basketball play. He just got him right on his head.''

Players on both benches and fans were quiet as medical personnel attended to Ford.

``I'm a good friend of T.J.'s,'' Atlanta's Josh Smith said. ``Knowing about the injury he had in Milwaukee, it kind of scared me. I started praying for him.''

Toronto led 69-68 entering the final quarter but stretched the lead to 82-71 before Marvin Williams, who had 23 points, finally ended Atlanta's field goal drought with 7:30 left.

Cavaliers 118, Pacers 105

James returned as a reserve after missing five games with what the Cavs have described as a sprained left index finger and had 17 points in 22 minutes as Cleveland ended a six-game losing streak. Larry Hughes, in his second game back after missing 11 with a bruised leg, scored a season-high 36 points in just 26 minutes as the Cavs set season highs in points and field-goal percentage (55).

Mike Dunleavy scored 23 points and Jermaine O'Neal had 18 for the visiting Pacers. Indiana guard Jamaal Tinsley, who was shot at with an assault weapon in front of a downtown Indianapolis hotel over the weekend, scored 10.

Wizards 102, Timberwolves 88

Antawn Jamison had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Caron Butler added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (11-10), which moved above .500 for only the second time all season.

Craig Smith had a career-high 36 points for the Timberwolves, who dropped to 1-8 on the road and 3-16 overall. They were trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Clippers 91, Nets 82

Chris Kaman and Tim Thomas both scored 18 points and Kaman grabbed 14 rebounds as Los Angeles won in New Jersey for the first time since Jan. 15, 1998, a span of eight games. Dan Dickau's 3-pointer gave the Clippers, who had lost eight of nine overall, a 76-68 lead with 8 minutes left, and the Nets didn't get closer than five points after that.

Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 21 points but was 6-for-21 from the field. New Jersey shot 32 percent (26-for-81), including 5-for-25 in the fourth quarter.

Pistons 113, Grizzlies 103

Chauncey Billups had 28 points and 14 assists and Richard Hamilton scored 27 points for the Pistons, who won their seventh game in the last eight. Detroit shot 51 percent for the game and committed only eight turnovers.

Rudy Gay had 20 points, and Pau Gasol and Kyle Lowry both had 18 for the host Grizzlies, who lost a season-high fifth straight.

Bulls 123, SuperSonics 96

Ben Gordon scored 27 points and Luol Deng added 20 in Chicago's most lopsided victory of the season. It was the fifth win in seven games for the Bulls, who shot 53.7 percent from the field.

Rookie Kevin Durant scored 16 points in 24 minutes for the visiting Sonics.

Trail Blazers 97, Jazz 89

Martell Webster scored 25 points for Portland, which won on the road for just the second time this season. The Trail Blazers played without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, who did not travel with the team because of a foot injury. Portland won its fourth straight, its longest winning streak since taking five in a row last December.

Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz, who have lost four straight.

Warriors 96, Spurs 84

Baron Davis had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists and Stephen Jackson had 20 points, five assists and five boards for Golden State, which has won 12 of 15, its best stretch since matching that run from Dec. 6, 1975, to Jan. 3, 1976.

Matt Bonner had career highs of 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Spurs, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and played their third straight game without Tim Duncan, who is bothered by a sprained right ankle. San Antonio committed a season-high 21 turnovers.