A positive among ugliness

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

The Raptors did set an ugly franchise record for the largest blown lead in their 115-113 overtime loss against the Dallas Mavericks yesterday, but they also made a small piece of positive history.

The Raptors had four 20-point scorers for just the second time in franchise history -- Chris Bosh (29), Charlie Villanueva (23), Mike James (25) and Morris Peterson (20).

The only previous time that happened was on Nov. 13, 1996 against the Philadelphia 76ers when Marcus Camby, Walt Williams, Damon Stoudamire and Carlos Rogers all hit the 20-mark in a 110-98 win.

TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

After watching his team claw back from 19- and 24-point deficits in consecutive home wins against the Memphis Grizzlies and Raptors, Mavericks coach Avery Johnson blamed himself for the team's propensity for starting slow.

"They're on me," said Johnson, who is in a race with Sam Mitchell for most intense second-year coach in NBA history.

"I don't think I'm doing a good enough job in our pre-game meeting. I don't think I'm doing a good enough job emphasizing how important it is to get off to better starts. I think there has been some confusion in regards to the game plan and that's my fault. I take responsibility."

Johnson seems to be the king of the post-game quote. After the win against Memphis, he thanked the fans repeatedly for staying behind his team and that quote was repeated time and again yesterday at the American Airlines Center.

"How many teams in our league can do what we've done the past two games," Johnson said. "We're supposed to be not very good defensively and we're supposed to be a team that's soft. I don't know how many physical teams could overcome what we did. That is what I call mental toughness in the fourth quarter and on. "

HOME COOKING

The Raptors were treated to what team members said was an outstanding dinner Friday night by Bosh's mother, Freda. Mrs. Bosh, a Dallas native, delivered the meal -- the highlight was the catfish -- to the team hotel.


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