Raptors feelin' green

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

There isn't a much more chilling sound than hearing a grown man scream in pain.

The Raptors' future flashed before their eyes early in the fourth quarter of a 110-109 defeat against the Boston Celtics at the FleetCenter last night, as Chris Bosh crumpled to the court after getting his feet tangled awkwardly with the Celtics' Marcus Banks.

Bosh, who represents the team's future, bellowed in agony as he lay on the court. But the good news for the Raptors is Bosh walked off under his own power.

Although he didn't return to the game, he was diagnosed merely with a bruised lower back.

"I hurt my back a couple of games ago when I took a charge from (Orlando's) Dwight Howard," said Bosh, whose injury was described as a bruised tailbone by Raptors coach Sam Mitchell. "(Last night) it was a matter of landing right on the same spot. I knew exactly what it was, but the pain ... it hurt so bad."

Bosh scored 20 points.

He will be re-evaluated today, and even though a sore lower back is something that could linger, the play looked -- and sounded -- as if it might have been far more serious.

"My plan was to play all 82 games and that's still a goal of mine," said Bosh, whose Raptors will take on the Detroit Pistons tomorrow night at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The relief over Bosh's condition in the locker room last night somewhat overshadowed the bitter disappointment of having a gutsy comeback fall just short.

In Bosh's absence, the Raptors erased a 16-point deficit and briefly took the lead with less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter. That set up a wild finish and the game was not decided until the Raptors' Milt Palacio missed an aggressive driving layup attempt as the clock expired.

The Raptors had a 20-second timeout left, but they opted not to use it when they regained possession of the ball with about five seconds to go, choosing instead to try to catch the Celtics on their heels.

Palacio probably got fouled on the drive -- twice, depending upon how closely you want to call it -- but no call was made.

In their previous game, the Raptors set an NBA record by hitting 21 three-pointers in a lopsided victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. Individually, Raptors forward Donyell Marshall tied Kobe Bryant's NBA record by connecting on a dozen three-pointers.

Last night the Raptors converted eight of their 20 three-point attempts, while Marshall was 4-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Raptors veteran Jalen Rose played like a man possessed, scoring a season-high 35 points on 12-for-16 shooting from the field.

"We tried to pick up the slack for our young fella (Bosh), but we couldn't get it done," Rose said.

Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points apiece.

The Raptors dropped to 27-37 with the loss, while the Celtics -- who have taken charge of the Atlantic Division -- improved to 36-29.


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