Raps have bad habit

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

BOSTON -- The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In a stunning development, the Raptors actually had a good first quarter.

But in a predictable final scene, they still found a way to lose.

The winless Raptors blew a 10-point first-half lead and dropped to 0-9 for the season with a 100-93 loss against the Boston Celtics last night at TD Banknorth Garden.

"It is disappointing because we've had some flashes of some good play," said Raptors guard Jalen Rose, who scored 11 points two nights after going scoreless for the first time since 1998.

"But that doesn't matter in this league. You have to find a way to put it together for four quarters."

The Raptors, who came into the game allowing an average of 30 points to opponents in the first quarter, led 22-18 after the first quarter and 48-44 at halftime, their first lead at the break since opening night.

But, in the end, it didn't mean a lick as Celtics star Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis, who each scored a game-high 26 points, shredded the Raptors down the stretch. Pierce delivered a crushing blow when he knocked down a jump shot with 44 seconds left to give Boston a 94-90 lead.

"We just didn't finish the game off," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.

"Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis played well with some big baskets and we just didn't get it done."

Adding to the frustration were some tough calls down the stretch. With the Raptors trailing 90-89 in the final two minutes, Rose was hacked on a drive but didn't draw the foul.

"No comment," Mitchell said when asked about the officiating.

"To the victor go the spoils," Rose said.

"And when you're not winning in the overall scheme, people can say what they want, you just don't get the breaks."

Of course, the Raptors didn't make their own breaks, especially in the second half.

Rose scored nine points in the first quarter, but just two the rest of the way.

And rookie Charlie Villanueva, who was red-hot in the first half with 18 points coming off the bench, got into foul trouble with four quick fouls when he entered the game in the second half.


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