Not a Rose-y picture

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

After two rough days on and off the court, Jalen Rose stood up and took the heat.

The Raptors' highest-paid player, who missed practice Saturday to attend the funeral of a long-time friend in his hometown of Detroit, returned to Toronto yesterday and shot blanks in a game where he could have made the difference.

Instead, the Raptors (0-6) remained winless, losing 126-121 in overtime to the not-very-good Seattle SuperSonics before 15,033 at the Air Canada Centre. The Sonics had lost their previous three games by an average of 31 points.

"It was just a big-time loss," Rose said when asked about his friend, while not elaborating on the circumstances.

"Hopefully, it will just make me stronger. I don't want to say it had any influence on (yesterday's) game. I still had the opportunity to make plays, just like the rest of the guys. It's just disappointing when you get plays and you don't make them. I felt like I had a couple of shots, especially one toward the end of the game, I felt I should have knocked down. It felt good, but that doesn't matter when it don't go in."

Rose, who didn't even play in the fourth quarter and was only on the floor in overtime because Morris Peterson fouled out, was referring to an open three with 30 seconds left in overtime that rimmed out with the Raptors trailing 123-121. Then, Rose fouled Nick Collison, after the Sonics forward grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 5.9 seconds left, and he sealed it with a free-throw.

Overall, Rose was 3-for-12 from the field and scored just seven points, continuing what has not been a great start to the season for the veteran. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, however, wasn't about to rip Rose.

"It's tough because as important as basketball is in our life, when you lose a good friend, I can't begin to try to say how that affected Jalen," Mitchell said. "I'm sure it had some affect on him. The travel, the sudden loss of a friend, how do we all deal with that?

The Raptors almost pulled off a stunning comeback, fighting back from an 18-point deficit with just less than 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Chris Bosh tied it 117-117 just before the buzzer on an improbable putback after Mike James purposely missed a free-throw with 2.7 seconds left.

With Sonics star Ray Allen having fouled out, the Raptors appeared to have the advantage in overtime. But Bosh fouled out on a questionable offensive infraction two minutes into the extra period.

One of the other keys to the game was the Sonics' big edge at the free-throw line, as they made 41 of 49 attempts while the Raptors made just 18 of 26.

"It's hard to recover from that," said Mitchell, whose team went to the line just twice in the first half.

Rashard Lewis scored a game-high 41 points for Seattle, while James led the Raptors with a career-high 36.

The Raptors begin a home-and-home series with the 76ers tomorrow in Philadelphia.


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