Third time a charm

Raptors forward Chris Bosh fights for control of the ball against the Trail Blazers yesterday. SUN...

Raptors forward Chris Bosh fights for control of the ball against the Trail Blazers yesterday. SUN MEDIA/Greg Henkenhaf

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:47 PM ET

Sam Mitchell called it a learning experience.

Anthony Parker said it was draining, but certainly worthwhile.

Jose Calderon summed it up as a great team win.

Suffice to say that the fans at the Air Canada Centre yesterday certainly got their money's worth as the Raptors and the youthful Portland Trail Blazers required two overtime periods before the home side finally prevailed 116-109.

The Raptors actually appeared to have won this game, not once, but twice before Chris Bosh decided enough was enough and scored the first four points of the second overtime to put the Raptors in control once and for all. Ironically, it was Bosh who missed the final shot in both regulation time and the first OT period to extend the proceedings.

Even with Bosh's quick four, you expected something bizarre would happen, and that the Blazers would somehow find a way to force another overtime. But the third time actually was the charm for the Raptors, who held on to collect their third consecutive win and move three games above .500.

"They snatched a win from us a couple of times, but we just kept on fighting," Mitchell said. "You just have to be proud of them because that was an unbelievable win for us."

Unbelievable was a good word to describe a number of plays yesterday, none moreso than rookie Jamario Moon's brain cramp when he fouled Travis Outlaw -- who was in the process of draining a three with 16 seconds to go and the Raps up by four. Outlaw, of course, made the foul shot to cap the unlikely four-point play and ultimately force the first overtime.

A little less than five minutes later the Raps had a three-point lead and again appeared to be in control with just nine seconds left in the first overtime. Normally, the Raps would foul, but a missed three-pointer by Martell Webster resulted in a long rebound to Brandon Roy who ran away from the Raps defence and hit an impressive three from well beyond the arc to force a second overtime.

Jose Calderon was hot on Roy's heels but was hesitant to foul because of the Blazers guard's positioning.

"I could have fouled him, but he was running a little bit above the arc and I didn't want to put the referees in the situation where I wouldn't know if they were going to give him three shots or two. I just thought I would contest and see where that situation went. It was too close and I knew I was outside the three-point line so he had to be."

Roy, as heady a sophomore player as you will find in the league, would undoubtedly have thrown the ball towards the hoop as soon as Calderon made contact, forcing the refs to consider the three foul shots that could have tied the game.

Roy, who wound up with 33 points, drained the shot from 25 feet to force a second OT.

Bosh, who was coming off a 40-point game against the Knicks two nights earlier, took matters into his own hands in the second overtime as the Raps outscored Portland 12-5 to finally seal the win.

The two-time all-star finished with 38 points and was supported ably by 25 from Parker and 22 from Calderon.

"For us to bounce back and get this game was huge," Parker said.


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