A power combination

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

Remember all that talk about the Raptors being foolish for picking power forward Charlie Villanueva when they already possessed a pretty good power forward in Chris Bosh?

Well, the two big men have established some pretty good chemistry and are causing problems for other teams when they're on the floor together.

The best example came Friday night when Bosh and Villanueva combined for 11 of the team's final 13 points in a 102-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

"You get as many good basketball players as you can get and then you worry about where they play after you get them," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said last night before his team faced the New Jersey Nets last night in East Rutherford, N.J. "You can't win on a consistent level in this league until you have good basketball players and then it's up to the coach to figure out how to use them ... You've got guys who can do multiple things and play a little bit inside and outside, you put them out on the court and let them play."

HELLO MR. GIANT

Raptors swingman Morris Peterson had a special guest in the house last night -- old Michigan State buddy Plaxico Burress, a top wide receiver for the New York Giants.

"He was one of my best friends in college," Peterson said of Burress, who plays his own big game today across the parking lot against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I probably talk to him once a week. I think he might already have (Nets) season tickets. That's the good thing about having friends who are athletes, they've got all the hookups."

Villanueva, a New York native, also was playing host to some important people. He had 12 tickets for his first pro game in the area of his hometown.

NOT MUCH RESPECT

Despite the fact his team lost the battle of the basement Friday night, Atlanta Hawks star Joe Johnson wasn't conceding second-last place to the Raptors in the aftermath.

"We know we're a better team than they are," Johnson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after scoring a career-high 34 points in a 102-101 loss.


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