Still Without Bosh, Raptors Come Back To Topple Wizards
February 20, 2010
TORONTO (CP) -- With Chris Bosh out of the lineup for the past two games the Toronto Raptors have had to become creative.
As a result they have two victories in a row, including a comeback 109-104 win Saturday led by Jarrett Jack's 11 fourth-quarter points in a 23-point game before a crowd of 19,149 at the Air Canada Centre.
Washington's Andray Blatche led all scorers with 24 points and Josh Howard added 17.
"The most important thing we did tonight and last night is we shared the basketball," said Raptors head coach Jay Triano.
"Without Chris where you can give it and you can make cuts off of him in, and you know that he's going to create, we have to create without the basketball. We have to move and makes screens and roll hard."
The Raptors (31-24) also made some late-game adjustments defensively, going to traps and switches, to hold Washington (19-34) to four points over the final 5:40.
"I think we just know how desperately we need to win these games going down the stretch, making the final push to the end of the season," Jack said.
Without Bosh, who sprained his left ankle late in last Wedneday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Jack said, "I think it is very important to get into our sets early so we can exercise just about every option we have on each play.
"Most NBA teams do a good job defending the first and maybe second option but if you are able to get to that third and fourth option that is where defences break down and open looks present themselves."
"Jack got really aggressive and was great with pick-and-rolls," Wizards head coach Flip Saunders said.
The Raptors had six players scoring in double figures including Antoine Wright who provided his season-best 19 points off the bench including a 3-for-3 game from behind the thee-point arc.
Andrea Bargnani scored 18 points and had four blocked shots, three in the fourth quarter.
Hedo Turkoglu, who after the first quarter shed the mask he has been wearing to protect a fractured orbital bone under his right eye, scored five of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Turkoglu also limped off the court with 1:43 left in the third quarter after he went down driving to the hoop and was called for charging for his trouble.
Turkoglu said his knee struck a defender's knee. "He just snuck out his knee and I bumped it," he said. "I couldn't leave the game or the team. I just wanted to be out there and do the best I could."
But he came back in the fourth and put the Raptors ahead to stay at 101-100 with 3:16 to play with a three-point play, making a reverse lay-up and converting the free throw after he was fouled making the basket.
The assist on the play went to Jose Calderon who had 10 points and four assists off the bench.
Rasho Nesterovic has picked up playing time because of Bosh's absence and scored a season-best 16 points seven rebounds on Friday in a 106-89 victory over the Nets had 10 against the Wizards.
The Raptors led 64-57 at the half but the Wizards used a 31-21 third quarter to take a three-point lead into the fourth quarter, which they opened on a 7-0 run to take a 95-85 lead.
The Raptors moved to within six points when Jack hit a 26-foot pull-up jumper for three. Jack then converted four successive free throws to cut the lead to 100-98. The Raptors scored the next seven points to go ahead 105-100.
Blatche brought the Wizards to within three with 1:27 left and with 6.9 seconds left but Calderon and Jack responded to those by making two free throws each.
"Turkoglu made some big shots and Bargnani was great," Saunders said. "We had about three times where he protected the rim and we didn't get shots up at the rim. Andray (Blatche), Josh (Howard) and Al (Thornton) each one missed a tip. That is three right there."
Triano praised his team's defence late in the game.
"We went small," Triano said. "Every time out we tried to hit them with a different look. We finally hit them with the trap which we had been waiting and sitting on, we finally hit them with switches which we had been sitting and waiting on. We held them to for points in the last (5:40). Andrea was huge. He had three blocked shots in that time."
Notes: Triano did not specify a return date for Bosh but did say it helps that the team does not play again until Wednesday when Portland visits ACC. . . The game against the Wizards was the first Saturday night game at ACC for the Raptors since Feb. 3, 2001, a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Nesterovic was Minnesota's starting centre in that game and Sam Mitchell, who went on to become the Raptors' head coach, came off the bench to play 10 minutes for the Timberwolves.