Raps' Cold War

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Even wins don't come without their controversy-tinged asterisks for the Raptors these days. The Raptors' recent clash-of-personality crisis wasn't enough to stop them from defeating the expansion Charlotte Bobcats 119-107 at the Charlotte Coliseum last night. It was a season-high in points scored on the road for the Raptors.

But after the game Raptors coach Sam Mitchell expressed extreme concern that the battle of wills between Rafer Alston and Jalen Rose had spilled on to the court with a rash of selfish play.

"I thought we played very individualistic," Mitchell said. "We got the win, but we have to go home now, sit down as a group and have a long talk. If you watched the game, draw your own conclusions.

"I don't think it's my job to fix it. I think it's an organizational thing. I think we as an organization, myself included, have to fix it. We have to deal with it internally, but we have to get it right by (tomorrow, when the Raptors play host to the Detroit Pistons).

"I'm just going to sit down with Rob (Babcock, general manager), (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO) Richard Peddie and (senior adviser to the GM) Wayne Embry (today) and we'll deal with it then."

After a loss in Orlando on Wednesday, Rose bubbled over and blasted some of his teammates. Although Rose didn't name names, it was apparent his main focus was Alston, who yesterday responded with his own strong views on team chemistry.

Rose and Alston barely looked at each other during the game last night, and when they did, they paused just long enough to decide not to pass the ball to each other.

Rose scored 23 points in a team-high 44 minutes. Alston had 18 points in only 24 minutes, and he didn't play at all in the fourth quarter.

Chris Bosh led the way for the Raptors with 27 points, while Donyell Marshall had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Emeka Okafor was top man for the Bobcats with 29 points and 14 rebounds.

The Raptors improved to 30-42 with the win, while the Bobcats dropped to 15-56.

The Bobcats beat the Raptors 101-94 in Charlotte on Jan. 28.


Videos

Photos