Big feat for Raptors

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

A sweep of back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks this weekend was a significant feat for the Raptors.

Under coach Sam Mitchell, the team has struggled badly in the second half of back-to-back sets. They were 5-12 in that scenario in 2004-05, 6-13 last season and 0-2 this season before the win over the Knicks on Saturday.

"I'm an educated man, but you're asking me questions (he can't answer)," Mitchell said when asked why the Raptors have had so much trouble in back-to-back matchups. "It's basketball. A lot of teams, not just us, struggle on back-to-backs. You play, you travel, different hotels, different food, it's just different."

BRACING FOR ACTION

Chris Bosh hasn't looked as explosive as usual since putting a brace on his sore right knee Nov. 25, but the Raptors star seems to be well on the road to recovery.

Bosh's movement was as good as it has been since he began wearing the brace in New York. He finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

"Way better, way better," Bosh said. "It's a lot better than it was before. I'm used to the brace now. It was all about comfort level. I just had to get my confidence back a little bit and keep working."

It may not be too long before Bosh can take off the brace on game days.

"I'm closer than I was before," he said. "When it comes to contact, I (still have) to put it on."

FREE POINTS

The Raptors have been good at the free-throw line most of the season, but they picked it up a notch against the Knicks.

Toronto made 31 of 33 free-throws for a great percentage of 93.3%. The 31 frees were a season high, topping the 28 they made against the Cleveland Cavaliers Nov. 22.

TAKE IT EASY

The Raptors had a day off practice yesterday as they began their longest stretch of the season to this point without games -- three days. They return to the practice floor today and play road games against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday and the Chicago Bulls Friday.


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