No lack of hustle

Steve Buffery -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell took exception to a reporter asking if his team had lost many games this season because they were out-hustled. Mitchell took the question as a set up, that the reporter wanted him to contradict himself. Mitchell has said repeatedly that of the club's 21 losses heading into last night's game against the Orlando Magic, the vast majority were the result of mistakes and general poor play, not a lack of hustle.

"That's a loaded question," Mitchell said. "You don't want me to stand here and contradict myself now, do you? Call myself liar? Is that what you're trying to see? You want me to call myself a liar?

"I repeatedly said that that our team works hard, that we played hard, we just make mistakes are a crucial points of the game," he added.

A GOOD DEAL

Memphis Grizzles president Jerry West told this to reporters last week while admitting that his team was in the Vince Carter trade sweepstakes. "It didn't make sense for a lot of reasons," West said. "What they were asking us for was a heck of a lot more than what they got from New Jersey."

The Raptors were said to be seeking Pau Gasol or Stromile Swift plus a point guard.

QUICK HITS

Forward Aaron Williams was scratched from the Raptors lineup yesterday because of a sprained left ankle, while former Raptor Michael Bradley did not play for Orlando because of a strained right hamstring ... The Raptors played 19 of their first 31 games on the road, the most in the NBA ... Toronto holds the current NBA streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer at 482 and counting. The last time the Raptors did not score a triple in a game was on Feb. 24, 1999 at Indiana ... The Raptors have been outrebounded in 24 of 31 games this season, heading into last night's action ... Toronto is 4-0 when Rafer Alston grabs seven or more rebounds ... Toronto is 0-16 when opponents score 100 or more points.


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