Bosh creates a buzz

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

A victory over the lowly New Orleans Hornets last night took the sting out of what has been a very frustrating road trip for the Raptors.

On the strength of a huge game from power forward Chris Bosh, who had a career-high 33 points to go along with 15 rebounds, the Raptors managed to win for the first time in three consecutive road games, 95-84 at the New Orleans Arena.

Bosh also had three steals and two blocked shots.

Head coach Sam Mitchell kept Bosh in the game until 1:44 remaining in the fourth quarter despite the Raptors holding a huge lead as the final minutes ticked off.

"I would have liked to have taken him out earlier, seeing that we play (tonight), but I believe if you have a chance to win a game, you better win and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow," Mitchell said.

Bosh's previous high was 29 points, recorded earlier this year against the Dallas Mavericks, his hometown team and the squad the Raps meet tonight. The lanky power forward is expecting about 150 friends and family at the American Airlines Arena this evening.

"It was just one of those games," Bosh said of his performance last night. "But I feel good about it."

The victory keeps Toronto, now 25-34, barely in the playoff hunt in the Atlantic Division with the one game left on their Southern U.S. swing.

Rookie forward Matt Bonner, coming off the bench, posted 18 points in 38 minutes, both career highs. He also had seven rebounds and shot 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from three-point range.

"My teammates did a great job finding me when I was open and I just stepped up and made the open shots," the Red Rocket said.

Starting small forward Morris Peterson left the game at the half because of a bruised left knee which he originally suffered on Friday in Memphis.

The Raptors shot 47% while the 13-46 Hornets, who were without star forward Jamaal Magloire of Toronto, shot 38%. Magloire has missed 45 games because of a fractured right finger, but is expected to play in a week or two.

Hornets' forward Lee Nailon, who had 32 against Toronto on Jan.16, led the New Orleans offence with 18 in front of an announced crowd of 10,638.

The game actually got off to a rocky start for Bosh, who was thrown to the court in the first quarter after getting tangled up with P. J. Brown, who somehow was not called for a flagrant foul.

The Raps opened up the second quarter with a 12-2 run to go up by 10 and led 53-36 at the half as Bosh picked up 18. The Raps put the stranglehold on the Hornets by charging ahead 77-55 with one quarter to go.


Videos

Photos