Peterson, Bosh Lead Raptors Past Blazers
Toronto 114, Portland 81
TORONTO, Feb. 12 (Ticker) -- Chris Bosh's marksmanship dealt the Portland Trail Blazers a big blow in the first half. Morris Peterson's made them a non-factor after the break.
Bosh missed just one shot in scoring 12 of his 14 points in the first half and Peterson added 15 of his 22 in the third as the Toronto Raptors kept the Trail Blazers reeling on the road with a 114-81 victory.
"When you had three games like we've had the last three, you've really got to focus, come out and play hard from the beginning," said Blazers rookie guard Jarrett Jack, who scored six points and had three steals. "That's something we have to focus on and try to put these three games behind us."
Portland had won seven of 11 before the trek and opened it with a 105-104 loss at Northwest Division-leading Denver. Since then, things have fallen apart and Sunday's contest marked the fourth on the trip the club has allowed at least 101 points.
Bosh made his first four shots and finished the first half 6-of-7. Mike James matched him with 12 first-half points as the Raptors claimed a 52-38 halftime lead, setting the stage for Peterson.
Peterson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, one of three he would hit in the third quarter. The third came during a 10-0 run midway through the period, a burst he capped with two more baskets to give Toronto a commanding 72-42 advantage.
"We got off to a good start and then in the third quarter we built the lead back up," Peterson said. "It was good for our starters because we have a game tomorrow (at Minnesota) we've got to be ready to play, so it was big."
Since a four-game stretch in which he failed to score in double figures, Peterson has done so in seven straight contests. He is averaging 19.7 and Toronto is 5-2 in that stretch.
Only two Raptors' starters played more than 30 minutes.
The club's reserves shot 13-of-18 (72 percent) in the fourth quarter as it rolled to its most convincing win this season. James scored 19 points and Charlie Villanueva added 16 for Toronto, which shot 59 percent (48-of-82) from the floor.
"Guys played defense, we shut them down, and it led to easy baskets," said Villanueva, whose nine rebounds helped the Raptors claim a 48-32 advantage on the boards. "Guys played together and we were just having fun out there."
Charles Smith led the Blazers with 11 points and three others had 10. To make matters worse, they lost starting center Theo Ratliff to an apparent left ankle injury in the third quarter.
Portland had an impressive 23 assists against five turnovers and increased its scoring total in each quarter. However, the tone was set for a dismal defensive performance when Toronto shot 14-of-20 (70 percent) in the first quarter to take a 31-18 lead.
The lead ballooned to 38-18 on Matt Bonner's 3-pointer with 9:14 left in the second quarter and reached 23 points at 46-23 on James' layup with 4:33 to go.
The Blazers showed a little life to pull within 50-38 on Juan Dixon's 20-footer in the final minute, but Bosh slammed in a miss by Villanueva with four seconds left.
The visitors never had another rally in losing their third straight here.