Vince booed

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Raptors fans yesterday gave Vince Carter a preview of the reception he will receive when he returns to the Air Canada Centre April 15 with his New Jersey Nets.

During a regular top-three-plays-of-the-night feature on the scoreboard, a Carter dunk was chosen as the No. 2 play. As soon as Carter appeared, the sellout crowd of 19,800 responded with noisy booing.

In fact, it was arguably the loudest jeer of the day, quite a feat considering the Raptors looked awful in a 123-105 loss against the Phoenix Suns. If Vince manages to stay injury-free, a 50/50 proposition at best, he'll certainly get an earful from the crowd on April 15.

Conversely, Canadian Suns point guard Steve Nash received the loudest cheer of the day when he was introduced as a starter.

THE NBA IS FAN-TASTIC?

With the NHL season on life support, one ACC fan held up a sign saying, "Who needs hockey?" with a Raptors logo in the middle of the final O.

One can argue trap-happy hockey would be more exciting than the Raptors' performance yesterday, but give the fan points for creativity.

NUMBER CRUNCHING

The Suns' Quentin Richardson recorded a rare four-point play in the first quarter after a foul by Raptors point guard Milt Palacio ... With point guard Rafer Alston suspended, Palacio started for the second time this season and played a season-high 35 minutes ... Raptors rookie Matt Bonner had two career highs, playing 32 minutes and grabbing eight rebounds ... Amare Stoudemire, despite recording three fouls in the first half, finished with a game-tying high 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Chris Bosh also had 27 points for the Raptors ... Raptors starting centre Rafael Araujo had the ugliest line of the day, finishing with no points and four fouls.


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