Bosh, Raptors Edge Bucks in Home Opener
Posted Nov 4 2006 12:03AM
By ROB GILLIES
TORONTO, Nov. 3 (AP) -- Chris Bosh had something to prove: That his season-opening performance wasn't acceptable and neither is losing in Toronto any more.
Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds to lead the new-look Raptors to a 109-92 rout over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
The All-Star forward didn't look rusty against Milwaukee - shooting 12-for-16 from the field. He made five of his first six shots and almost had a double-double at halftime.
After blocking Ruben Patterson's shot late in the fourth quarter, the usually laid-back Bosh showed his emotions by pumping his fist and getting in his teammates' faces.
"It was because of the last game and I'm tired of losing,'' Bosh said. "I don't want to go back to the way things were the year before and previous years.''
Bosh signed a four-year extension this offseason after the team went 93-153 in his first three seasons in Toronto.
"It's way different now. The attitude is different. We expect to be a good team. We expect to win,'' Bosh said.
Teammates noticed how much more intense Bosh was.
"You rarely see Chris Bosh all amped up,'' forward Morris Peterson said. ``That's what we need. We need our best player to play with that energy and emotion, and tonight we fed off him.''
The Raptors shot 53 percent and had seven players score in double figures. Toronto has nine new players this season, and a league-high six international players.
The sellout crowd of 19,832 was excited from the start.
"I've haven't seen this place rocking like that in so long,'' Peterson said of the Air Canada Centre. "It was crazy in here.''
Andrew Bogut had 18 points for the Bucks, who won their season-opener in Detroit.
Milwaukee's Charlie Villanueva had 17 points and 11 rebounds against his former team before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a sore calf. He did not return and will be reevaluated on Saturday.
"They were hungry and they wanted it more than us,'' Villanueva said. "They shot the ball pretty well and got things going, and we just kind of got our heads down.''
T.J. Ford - acquired from Milwaukee for Villanueva - had 13 points and 11 assists, including 10 points and eight assists in the second half.
"It was fun getting the win. I don't have anything against the Milwaukee Bucks organization,'' Ford said.
Andrea Bargnani - the first European taken with the No. 1 pick - played just 10 minutes, none when the game was close in the second half. The 7-foot Italian forward had four points and five rebounds.
"He's a rookie. It's part of the process of being a rookie. All rookies go through it,'' Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said.
Toronto pulled away in the fourth quarter - outscoring Milwaukee 30-17.
Notes: NBA commissioner David Stern attended the game. ... Longtime Raptors fan Samuel L. Jackson sat courtside. ... Milwaukee's Bobby Simmons (right heel) didn't play. ... The Raptors played the first of a four-game homestand. ... A fan won a car by making a jumper at halftime.
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