Go To:
  • ALT+A Toggle Accessibility Menu
  • ALT+H Home
  • ALT+1 Navigation
  • ALT+2 Main Content
  • ALT+3 Footer

With Bosh Hospitalized, Raptors Gut One Out Against Knicks

Related: Box Score | Photos | Ulmer: Weems, Johnson Leads Raps In Win | Game Rap: Athletic Raptors Edge Knicks
Video: Game In Six | Triano | Weems | Calderon | DeRozan | Johnson | Bargnani | Jack
More Video: Sonny Cleans Glass | Amir's Finishes The Break
Discuss It On: Twitter | Facebook | Raptorspace


March 5, 2010

TORONTO (CP) -- -- Somewhere, Chris Bosh was in a hospital room, hooked into an IV drip. Hedo Turkoglu, one of his Toronto Raptors teammates, was playing on an ankle so sore it needed a fresh wrapping of tape during the game, and yet another player was sent to the room for repairs on an open wound in the second half.

It was never going to be an easy night for the Raptors, who were forced to fend off injury and illness before they could fend off their second big opponent on Friday night, the New York Knicks. And whatever was left of the roster was able to do just that, emerging with a 102-96 win to snap a four-game losing streak.

Swingman Sonny Weems scored a career-high 20 points for the Raptors. Amir Johnson finished with 14 points starting in place of Bosh, who was taken to a local hospital before the game with what coach Jay Triano had described as "severe stomach cramps."

"We don't anticipate that it's anything serious," Triano said. "They just want to do some tests. Hopefully, we'll hear something and he'll be ready to go on Sunday."

Turkoglu, who sprained his left ankle earlier in the week, managed 12 points in just over 25 minutes of playing time. David Lee led the Knicks with 23 points.

"Our depth and our perimeter guys have been good," Triano said. "They bring energy, so we use them for that. But tonight's the night where they had to bring not only energy, but a lot of minutes -- they had to play a lot of minutes and they had to be effective for us if we were going to win this game."

Bosh did not participate in the team's ritual pre-game morning workout, suffering from what was initially described as an upset stomach. The condition appeared to worsen through the day, with Triano telling reporters an hour before the game that his star player was in agony.

"Can't straighten up," Triano said.

The 25-year-old had been sidelined since he sprained his left ankle in Toronto's overtime loss to Memphis on Feb. 17, and there was no denying the impact his absence had on the team. After wins over New Jersey and Washington -- two teams out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference -- the Raptors dropped each of their next four games.

Bosh's absence also underlined the potential long-term impact he could have on the team if he opted to sign elsewhere as a free agent this summer. Bosh will be part of a bumper crop that includes Cleveland star LeBron James and Miami's Dwyane Wade.

Tracy McGrady, the New York swingman who fled Toronto as a free agent a decade ago, weighed in with his opinion before the game. He lamented the difficulty he had adjusting to life in Canada when he was a rookie, and suggested at least two reasons why Bosh may look to leave.

"Maybe he wants to start off fresh with another franchise, or maybe he's doing it for tax reasons," McGrady said earlier Friday. "I'm not speaking (for) Chris Bosh, I'm just saying (for) the individual that wants to move on. There's different reasons why a guy wouldn't want to play here."

The men who do play in Toronto held a one-point edge over McGrady and the Knicks at halftime, a 53-52 lead constructed by a shared offensive output. Turkoglu led the Raptors with nine points at the break despite having to leave the floor in the second quarter to get a new tape job on his ankle.

Johnson and Weems each had eight points. It remained tight into the third quarter, when centre Andrea Bargnani was forced to seek medical attention for a cut on the back of his head. He was given three staples to close the gash and returned later in the quarter, with the Raptors holding a 70-67 lead.

"I was just trying to be aggressive," Weems said. "Tried to come out and do what I've been doing the whole season, just being aggressive and attacking it."

Toronto opened a nine-point lead with six minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but let it slip to four when Danilo Gallinari hit a three-pointer a minute later. Gallinari sliced that 92-88 lead in half moments later to heighten the crowd's anxiety.

Jose Calderon, who had fought back from an elbow injury, quelled the unease with a jump shot to restore a six point lead with three minutes to play.

"We were down on ourselves, losing four in a row," Johnson said. "We wanted to come in and bring energy and just win this game tonight. So we just talked it out as a team, and now we're back on track."

NOTES: Toronto players and cheerleaders ditched their normal attire in exchange for the franchise's ultimate throwbacks: the Toronto Huskies. The team wore the basic blue-and-white Huskies jerseys to commemorate the defunct franchise, which folded after only one season, in 1947 ... Wayne Gretzky had a courtside seat, and received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd in the second quarter. The Raptors presented The Great One with his own jersey, complete with his No. 99. Former Raptor Tracy Murray was also courtside ... The Raptors close their season at home against the Knicks on April 14.