Chris miss

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

MIAMI -- With Chris Bosh, the Raptors are not exactly world-beaters.

Without him ... well, let's just say they're in more than a bit of trouble.

Missing the injured all-star forward (sore left knee) for the second game in a row, the Raptors again failed to compete at an adequate level and lost 99-77 against the defending champion Miami Heat last night.

It was the fourth loss in a row for the Raptors, who went to the free-throw line a season-low five times and connected on a season-low three. Not surprisingly, that resulted in Toronto's largest margin of defeat this season.

"We've got to turn ourselves into an all-out scrapping team and just fight for every little thing and go after every loose ball and scrap people the whole game," said Raptors guard Fred Jones, whose team didn't quite do that last night. "That's the only way I think we can win (with Bosh out)."

On the heels of an uninspiring 93-83 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, the Raptors did the predictable in falling behind 58-38 at halftime, a season-high deficit at the half. Keep in mind, this wasn't the Heat team that beat the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA final last year as it was missing Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton and Wayne Simien to injury.

The Raptors made an obligatory run and cut the lead to seven in the third quarter, but that's when Heat star Dwyane Wade, a game-time decision after having a wisdom tooth removed, decided to take matters into his own hands. Two incredible drives increased Miami's lead to 11 and before you knew it, the bulge was 15 after three quarters. Wade, spectacular as always, led the way with 37 points, while Anthony Parker topped Toronto with 18.

Before the game, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell told his team it had to run to create easy baskets in the absence of Bosh. But there were precious few easy baskets and, of course, just a handful of trips to the free-throw line.

"When you're getting to the free-throw line just five times, it's tough to win," Mitchell said. "You basically have to shoot a high, high percentage of shots because there's so much pressure on every shot."

The problem is the Raptors don't have players who draw fouls consistently.

"Our personnel is our personnel," said Mitchell, who put Joey Graham in place of Andrea Bargnani in the starting lineup, only to see Graham commit two early fouls. "We don't have guys that it's in their nature (to do that)."

Bosh, who remains in Toronto, also is expected to miss a game tomorrow in Orlando against the Magic. Mitchell said he is feeling a bit better but remains day to day.

"Unless he's feeling a lot better than he felt the other night ... I wouldn't plan on having Chris in Orlando," Mitchell said. "We're hoping maybe Friday, Sunday. Then again, I wouldn't even be so sure about that. He's got a tough bruise."

Without Bosh last season, the Raptors were 1-11. So how does Mitchell change his team's fortunes?

"We go back and look at the tape and try to tweak it a little more," he said. "That's what coaching is, you just keep trying and trying until you find something."

He might be searching a while with this crew.

REPORT CARD

D Offence: Out of control at times, weak shooting at other times. Overall, quite inconsistent.

D Defence: When he felt like it, Dwyane Wade was a one-man wrecking crew. The Raptors also had trouble down low with Toronto-hater Alonzo Mourning.


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