Limping home

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:17 PM ET

SACRAMENTO -- The Raptors\' three-game Western road trip mercifully is over. Portland, Los Angeles and Sacramento are tough enough places to go at the best of times, let alone when you\'re having such a difficult time scoring that you have to play pristine, error-free defence simply to be in the game.

The Raptors were not pristine last night, and they really weren\'t in the game, falling 94-64 to the Kings before a crowd of 17,317 at Arco Arena.

Some Raptors players are growing openly frustrated that almost all the offence is being forced through an increasingly exhausted and pressured Vince Carter.

\"This is a game of basketball and everybody in this room is a scorer, whether people want to look at it that way or not,\" Raptors forward Jerome Williams said. \"Everybody in this room got here because of what they do collectively. If we start singling people out -- \'Oh, you\'re just a scorer, and you\'re not\' -- this is what you get. Live with it. I\'m not going to sugar-coat it.\"

Carter and Lamond Murray led the Raptors with only 13 points each last night. It wasn\'t nearly enough.

\"We just didn\'t play any kind of organized basketball, in my opinion,\" Carter said.

O\'Neill admitted he was very disappointed.

\"There was no progress tonight,\" he said.

The Raptors completed their trip with a predictable 0-3 record, but there are a lot more questions now about this 4-5 club than there were when it left Toronto last Monday.

From the franchise\'s inception in 1995 through to the end of last season, the Raptors had played four games in which they scored fewer than 70 points. This season they\'ve had three already.

The Raptors are 4-0 at home this season, but an ugly 0-5 on the road.

Raptors rookie forward Chris Bosh last night got the first start of his NBA career, replacing Jerome Williams. And for the second game in a row, Milt Palacio started at point guard instead of Alvin Williams.

Bosh has been incredibly poised through his first couple of weeks of pro life, but the starting role appeared to make him nervous. He had six points and six rebounds in 31 minutes.

There was a spectacular collision between Alvin Williams and the Kings\' Gerald Wallace in the second quarter, with Williams tumbling head over heels and landing with a thud. It was eerily reminiscent of the play that resulted in the Chicago Bulls\' Jamal Crawford winding up in the hospital earlier this week, but Williams walked off under his own power.

The Raptors were behind by only six points at the half, but surrendered meekly at both ends of the court in the third quarter. The Kings surged ahead with a 23-6 run that O\'Neill described as \"inexcusable.\"

The Kings, who still are missing their best player, Chris Webber, because of a lengthy rehabilitation following left knee surgery, improved to 5-4. They were led by Peja Stojakovic with 17 points.

The Raptors flew home after the game late last night and were due to arrive in Toronto at about 6:30 a.m. this morning. They\'ll play host to Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets tomorrow at 1 p.m., at the Air Canada Centre.


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