NEW ORLEANS, March 6 (Ticker) --
A pair of career efforts lifted the
Toronto Raptors to an easy win.
scored a career-high 33 points and Matt Bonner
off the bench to notch a personal-best 18 and the Raptors
cruised to a 95-84 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
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The tandem made up for the loss of starting forward
, who left late in the first quarter with a bruised left
knee, and a poor shooting effort by their teammates.
"I thought our guys played well," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell
said. "I thought Chris played well. I thought Matt filled in
and played really well. Every time they made a run, either
Chris or Jalen (Rose) made a shot."
Bosh, who also grabbed 15 rebounds and had three steals, scored
12 points in the first quarter and Bonner got it going in the
second, scoring seven points to help Toronto to a 53-36 halftime
"My teammates found me in the right spots and I took advantage
of it," Bosh said. "I made some jump shots, and that's a key
thing sometimes. If you make your outside shots, it tends to
help your offense a little more."
The Hornets got within 57-42 midway through the third period,
but Bonner scored five quick points to kick off a 12-3 surge
that gave the Raptors their largest lead, 69-45, with 4:47 to
Bonner finished a 4-of-4 effort from 3-point range with a pair
in the fourth, helping Toronto wrap up its fourth win in six
"With him (Peterson) out, someone has to try to fill in those
minutes, and tonight it was my night," Bonner said. "I was just
a recipient of my teammates' passes. I was able to step in and
make the open shots."
Bosh and Bonner combined to make 18-of-26 shots. Their
teammates were just 16-of-47 (34 percent).
"He (Bosh) is a guy you have to set the tone on, and get into
him early," said Hornets center P.J. Brown
, who scored six
points and pulled down eight boards. "He got into a nice little
rhythm. He's a young player who is getting better and better
from game to game. He has some skills down on the box. He can
do a lot of different things."
scored 18 points and Bostjan Nachbar
added 15 for New
Orleans, which had won two in a row. The Hornets have not won
three straight since February 11-18, 2004.
"We felt good in warmups, guys were enthusiastic, and I thought
that we were really ready to play," Brown said. "But when the
ball went up, that really wasn't the case."
The Raptors connected on 10-of-21 shots (48 percent) from
3-point range while the Hornets were just 4-of-19 (21 percent).
Toronto was never threatened after outscoring New Orleans,
53-31, across the second and third quarters.