Bosh front and centre

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Chris Bosh faced the best power forward in the NBA last night and did not blink. The Raptors' second-year standout put together a career game, guiding his struggling squad to a 96-90 upset win over the powerful Minnesota Timberwolves in front of 16,888 delighted fans at the Air Canada Centre.

Not only did Bosh pick up his team-leading fifth double-double of the season, with 24 points and 14 assists, he did a admirable job guarding all-world forward Kevin Garnett.

Garnett did manage a team-leading 23 points and 15 assists, but both he and Donyell Marshall did a good job keeping Garnett from carrying his team to victory late in the game.

The Raptors snapped a seven-game losing streak, who had yet to win in December.

"The way our guys played and hung in there and rebounded became infectious," Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell said. "We knocked down some big shots."

The game almost came unglued with 5:24 left in the fourth quarter when T-Wolves shooting guard Latrell Sprewell charged towards Matt Bonner after the Raptors rookie fouled Garnett hard under the basket. Garnett, after picking himself off the floor, also went after Bonner before Mitchell and some of his players jumped into the fray to break things up. The fans responded with chants of "Bonner! Bon-ner!"

Bonner was ejected from the game and was slapped with flagrant foul 2, meaning that he'll likely be out for tomorrow's game in Indianapolis, although the Raptors will appeal the call. It was thought that a couple of Raptors might have gone on to the floor from the bench and if a review reveals that they intended to cause further problems, they too could be out for the game tomorrow.

In any event, Mitchell appreciated the efforts all of his players, who stood large with Vince Carter still out of the lineup with a left Achilles tendon strain. Carter is eligible to return for Monday's game in Houston against the Rockets.

Bosh, who has struggled this year, admitted that he had been holding back at times for fear of making the wrong play, but decided to attack the basket and his defensive assignments with abandon last night.

"It's real big, not only to win the game, but to win the game and be an important part of it is real special to me," he said. "I just have to build on it (and) remember this feeling."

The T-Wolves were content to shoot from the perimeter most of the night and in fact, only went to the free throw line 10 times, none in the first half -- only the second time in the history of the franchise that a team failed to go to the line in a half against the Raps.

Toronto set a season high for three-pointers in a game with 11 and also set a season low with 12 personal fouls.

Morris Peterson, starting in place of Carter, chipped in 19 points while starting point guard Rafer Alston had 12.


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