Bosh boosts all-star bid

MIKE GANTER, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

NEW YORK -- So much for the beasts of Broadway.

The Raptors' first look at the New York Knicks and their twin towers Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph this season was a one-sided Toronto victory, some might say a knockout although a late run spearheaded by the Knicks' under- appreciated bench probably kept it from that stature of a beating.

Neither of the Knicks big men was around long enough to have much of an impact -- they combined for six points and three rebounds in 25 minutes -- as the Raptors built an early lead, taking advantage of their obvious edge in the speed department, and then held on for a 99-90 win.

By the time Isiah Thomas identified the obvious disadvantage and took Curry and Randolph out six minutes in, the Raptors already were up 15-4 in a game in which their lead would not go below five.

Credit Chris Bosh for a lot of that on the offence. He tormented Curry and every other big man, and some little men, that Thomas could throw at him in a 40-point, 11-rebound effort that can only help his all-star chances in a few week's time when the full team is announced.

"We just ran our offence and Chris felt he had some advantages and he recognized them and took the ball to the basket," Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell said.

Bosh had 24 points by halftime and 16 more in the second. He said the key was getting out to that early lead.

"I'm just glad we came in and were aggressive," Bosh said. "If you let those two (Curry and Randolph) stay in the game, they can really hurt you because they are very good players. We made them play a faster pace than they wanted to and it worked out for us."

Randolph, who has been the subject of many trade rumours emanating from the Garden, was visibly annoyed when Thomas chose to take him out of the game and made sure everyone in the vicinity knew about it, throwing his arms up in frustration as he made his way to his seat.

Thomas was not put off by being shown up.

"I am sure he is frustrated just like we are all frustrated," Thomas said. "The one thing I know about him is that he wants to play. Every player wants to play and no one likes to be taken out of the game. We will just move on."

BACK ON TRACK

There was no holding Bosh down last night as the Raps won their second in a row after opening 2008 with back-to-back home losses.

His 40 points were just two shy of his career high, set just before Christmas in a loss in Phoenix.

The final score actually flattered the Knicks considering they never had a lead and even when they did get it down to five, they didn't seem capable of getting any closer.

The Raps made a huge improvement in rebounding over those two loses to begin the calendar year. Last night, they finished with a 43-33 advantage overall and, most impressively, an 11-6 edge in offensive rebounds against the second best team in that statistical category in the league.

"Coach wanted our bigs to keep Randolph and Curry off the boards and then our wings would come in and get the loose balls. We did a better job," shooting guard Anthony Parker said. Parker had seven rebounds himself by halftime and finished with eight, tying for second on the night along with Jamario Moon behind Bosh.

By the third quarter, what remained of the Knicks faithful began the "Fire Isiah" chant.

The way the Knicks are going, it may not be long before those wishes are answered.

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REPLAY

TURNING POINT

It wasn't long after the Raps won the opening tip as they quickly built a 17-4 lead. While the Knicks did put a bit of a scare into the Raps in the final two minutes, they were never a serious threat to take a lead.

BAD BREAK

Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald, now assistant GM in New York under Isiah Thomas, has been in a cast a few weeks and was still on crutches last night after breaking his foot a few weeks back. Grunwald and his family had been living in Toronto up until August when they moved to New York.

TALENT POOL

Two of Jamario Moon's former schoolmates from tiny Cossa Central in Hanover, Ala., are in action this weekend in the NFL playoffs -- linebacker Adalius Thomas of the New England Patriots and DE Justin Tuck of the New York Giants.


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