A new experience

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

SEATTLE -- A new look produced a much-needed new result for the Raptors.

With the surging Jalen Rose and Matt Bonner elevated to a suddenly experienced starting lineup, the Raptors finally got over the West Coast hump.

All five Raptors starters scored in double figures as Toronto snapped a 13-game losing streak out west, beating the Seattle Supersonics 121-113 last night at Key Arena.

The starters gave the Raptors the big finish they needed. Chris Bosh hit a tough 17-footer with 1:26 to go, breaking a 111-111 tie, and then drew a foul with 39.6 seconds left and hit both shots to extend the lead to four points. Those two free throws capped a Raptors record 17-for-17 free throw day for Bosh, breaking Vince Carter's record of 13 without a miss in a game.

Bosh's 17-for-17 free-throw night was also an NBA season-high, topping Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki's 15-for-15.

"My percentage has been up and I've really been concentrating on free throws," said Bosh, who outscored by three points the entire Sonics team at the line. "I realized I hadn't missed any so I tried to get to the line as much as possible."

Bosh rolled up 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Rose made the most of his starting assignment with 28 points and added seven assists.

"It felt good to hear your name called, what college you went to, how tall you are," Rose said, "and contribute to a win."

Coach Sam Mitchell replaced the inconsistent Joey Graham with Rose and started Bonner in place of the injured Rafael Araujo (right shoulder).

The Raptors are now 1-2 on their West Coast swing, which wraps up with games in Los Angeles against the Lakers tomorrow and in Denver against the Nuggets on Monday.

The one worry about the lineup now is that it puts three rookies -- Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and Jose Calderon -- on the court at the same time with the second unit. With Pape Sow back on the active roster and part of that unit, the Raps didn't have the same poise, especially on the defensive end.

The Sonics, early in the fourth, broke an 88-88 tie with the Raptors' second unit -- including Morris Peterson -- in the game and went up 98-93. When Mitchell had seen enough, he put four of his starters back in the game at the same time, prompting the public address announcer to quip, Raptors "line change."

Sow played seven minutes, scored two points and committed three fouls.

The game featured two of the worst defensive teams in the league -- the Raptors are ranked 28th in points allowed and the Sonics are a league-worst 30th. It showed for most of the game as neither team could lock down the opponent for long stretches.

Considering the defences, it wasn't surprising that the first half produced the highest combined total of points in a half -- 122 -- for a Raptors game this season. The Sonics led 63-59 after 24 minutes.

REPORT CARD

A- Offence: The revamped starting unit came up big as the Raptors took advantage of the Sonics' soft defence. It looked like last season as Jalen Rose and Chris Bosh performed the heroics.

C - Defence: There is a reason the Raptors and the Sonics are among the league's worst defensive teams. This was a shootout all the way as defence was an afterthought.


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