Bosh a little tentative

MARK KEAST AND MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

Forward Chris Bosh seemed tentative early on during yesterday's game against the Indiana Pacers, his sore right knee in a brace, and he seemed to be hobbling slightly while moving up and down the floor.

Bosh shot just 2-for-11 in that first half, finishing the game with team highs of 17 points (on 6-for-18 shooting) and 11 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season.

"I usually shoot the ball a lot better than that," he said after the game. "I mean (the knee) could be a subconscious thing. It's not really bothering me. I just go out and play."

Said coach Sam Mitchell: "Plays he normally makes easy, he couldn't do. I tell him all the time, he had 11 rebounds, you've got to find other ways to help us win."

SLOW START

The Pacers have been plagued by slow starts all season, a common theme in these parts as well earlier this season, and yesterday it happened again.

Indiana was sluggish, shooting just 36.4% in that first quarter, with seven turnovers.

The Raps built a 15-point lead during that time. At one point the Raptors led the game by 27.

"It's hard to get out of a 15-point hole with 36 minutes to play," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.

RASHO BACK IN

After two games with that ugly DNP stamp next to his name, centre Rasho Nesterovic was back in yesterday's game, part of that bench unit that sparked the Raptors to a victory.

Mitchell said he liked the defence Nesterovic and Andrea Bargnani brought to the game. Nesterovic's playing time was 19:44.

"Because of their length, they brought us great interior defence," Mitchell said.

Nesterovic later admitted being frustrated about not getting into the lineup.

"It's tough watching, especially when you're losing," he said.

"The bench is always the toughest because you're so close yet so far from the court. But this is part of the game, I understand that."

MOLITOR COURTSIDE

International Boxing Federation super bantam-weight champion Steve Molitor was courtside for yesterday's game, alongside his girlfriend. Molitor won the IBF title Nov. 10 in England against Michael Hunter.


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