Missed chances kill Raps

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

Going into yesterday's game against Dallas at the ACC, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said he wanted to achieve two things -- keep the Mavericks from getting off to a quick start and keep the final score in the nineties.

Well, the Raptors accomplished both yesterday -- and still lost.

Toronto came out strong in the first quarter, jumping out to a 32-22 lead, a reversal of what happened the previous time the teams met in November when the Mavs jumped ahead 26-6 in the first quarter on the strength of 10-for-14 shooting from the field.

"Real good teams like Dallas come out and try to put you away early," Mitchell said. "I wanted our guys to play like that and they did."

But Mitchell said for all the positives the team missed too many opportunities.

"We had two jump balls and we had Chris (Bosh), our best jumper, and we didn't come up with the ball so a lot of things we could have done better."

THREE CHEERS

Mitchell was justifiably down after the game, but his counterpart across the court -- Dallas coach Avery Johnson -- was absolutely effusive in his praise for the Raptors.

"I told Sam I really like his ball club," Johnson said. "Bosh is a handful; (Andrea) Bargnani is very difficult to guard and they have two relatively young point guards."

BUTT UGLY

The NHL's Buffalo Sabres yesterday lost the title of having the ugliest uniforms in pro sports when the Mavericks showed up at the ACC in green and blue outfits with white lettering.

Many at courtside were wondering how Dallas owner Mark Cuban -- who would have final say on the colour scheme --could have made such an artistic boo-boo.

Apparently he never has heard the fashion mantra: "Blue and green should never be seen."

AROUND THE RIM

Four Raptors -- Bosh, Jorge Garbajosa, Anthony Parker, T.J. Ford and Bargnani -- all posted 30-plus minutes ... Parker played one of his stronger games of the season in posting 14 points .... Bosh's two assists were his fewest of the season.


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