Raps have Pop ... but

Raptors’ Pops Mensah-Bonsu is fouled by Detroit Pistons’ Kwame Brown during the first half at the...

Raptors’ Pops Mensah-Bonsu is fouled by Detroit Pistons’ Kwame Brown during the first half at the Air Canada Centre last night. (STAN BEHAL/Sun Media)

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Pops Mensah-Bonsu hit the floor hard in overtime and so did the Raptors.

"This one hurts, man" the Toronto forward said last night as the Detroit Pistons wrestled a 99-95 overtime win from Toronto, handing the home team its seventh straight loss.

"We finally showed signs of life and a sense of urgency. We played like a desperate team and made the right plays to put us in position to win the game. We battled a veteran team in the Eastern Conference ... hopefully we bring this effort to the rest of our games."

Yes, it was finally something to reward their long suffering fans for staying around, a late fourth-quarter stand to tie it and nearly pulling out in extra time after spotting the Pistons the first seven points of OT.

"Frustrating? Geez, stop using that word and get another one," captain Chris Bosh said after his game-high 27 points. "Anyone have a thesaurus around? You compete, you come up short, but no one is frustrated around here."

Bosh was 11-for-31, a career-high attempts from the floor, and missed some key free throws, the last of which Mensah-Bonsu was doing an excellent job trying to corral when he was knocked down with a few seconds in extra time.

At least the Raptors avoided giving up 100 points for a ninth consecutive game. They tied it 88-88 on a Jose Calderon drive to the hoop with nine seconds to play and Anthony Parker did a nice job to disrupt Rip Hamilton's last-gasp shot.

Toronto was on the verge of a big run at times throughout the evening at the Air Canada Centre, but Bosh was 6-for-19 through three quarters, rushing a late first-half possession that could've given the Raps a 10-point lead going into the locker room. But he missed with five seconds still showing and Walter Herrmann came back and hit three at the buzzer for Detroit.

The Raptors tried to start flu-ridden big man Andrea Bargnani, but he played just nine minutes in the first quarter before coach Jay Triano went to Jake Voskuhl and Mensa-Bonsu. The latter certainly has brought a spark the past few days after the Raps pulled him out of the NBA's D- League.

Mensah-Bonsu's arrival in the game had the desired quick effect, 3-for-4 and three rebounds in 12:42 and the Raps opened up an eight point lead at one stage. The British Bulldog, as nicknamed by radio play-by-play man Paul Jones, he ran halfway up an end-zone aisle to try to keep a baseline ball in play and flailed his arms to block one breakout pass with his back to the play.

"We're trying to run and create tempo offensively and if you don't get back, it means the other teams are going to have more possessions and you won't be in the right place," Triano said before the game. "We have to run back and make sure we build our defence in the half court. Once we get in the half court, we're not that bad."

The Pistons are without Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, but have won six of their past eight. Hamilton had 24 last night.

"We did a pretty good job on Hamilton, holding him to six field goals until the start of overtime." Triano said. "Then he hit the first two.

"But we were right there where we were supposed to be."

The success without the stars means Detroit coach Michael Curry need not rush Wallace back from a strained lower-body muscle.

"When you start dealing with a strain at this time of the year you have to be really careful," Curry said.

"It's easy to take a turn for the worse.

"It's best to get fully healthy so we don't have any setbacks. We need him healthy if we're to have any chance down the last stretch of the season and into playoffs."

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REPLAY

JOSE'S HELP LINE

Jose Calderon became the Raptors' career assist leader last night, passing Alvin Williams with No. 1,792 on a Jason Kapono jumper during the second quarter.

Calderon nearly got the eight he needed in the first quarter, but the record breaker from Chris Bosh hit the rim at the buzzer.

CALL HIM ILL MAGO

Andrea Bargnani was woozy before the game with the flu, sucked it up to start, but was pulled within a couple of minutes as he clearly lacked zip. After nine first-quarter minutes, he was gone from the game.

NO A.I. AT ACC

Allen Iverson, a fan favourite in Toronto, missed last night's game for the visiting Detroit Pistons because of a sore back. Iverson's return is expected within a week.

BOXSCORE

DETROIT FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Prince 43:18 5-14 0-0 0-8 4 1 11

Maxiell 37:39 8-9 0-1 2-6 0 4 16

McDyess 45:40 8-14 0-0 3-13 2 6 16

Hamilton 44:54 8-26 6-7 1-5 16 2 24

Stuckey 41:09 7-12 3-4 1-5 4 2 17

Brown 10:23 0-0 0-0 0-3 0 2 0

Herrmann 6:56 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Bynum 11:51 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 4

Afflalo 23:10 3-6 0-0 0-3 1 3 8

Totals 265:00 42-85 9-12 7-44 27 21 99

Percentages: FG .494, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 6-11, .545 (Afflalo 2-4, Hamilton 2-4, Herrmann 1-1, Prince 1-2).

Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 18 (16 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 6 (McDyess 3, Maxiell 2, Prince).

Turnovers: 18 (Hamilton 6, Stuckey 3, Brown 2, Bynum 2, McDyess 2, Prince 2, Maxiell).

Steals: 3 (Maxiell, McDyess, Prince).

Technical Fouls: Hamilton, 2:44 second.

TORONTO FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Marion 36:30 7-14 4-6 3-6 0 1 18

Bosh 47:17 11-31 5-8 4-10 5 2 27

Bargnani 8:37 2-5 0-0 1-3 0 0 4

Parker 39:03 3-9 0-0 0-4 3 2 6

Calderon 41:58 7-13 4-4 1-4 11 1 20

Voskuhl 8:47 0-3 0-0 1-3 0 3 0

Mensah-Bonsu 28:00 3-5 2-2 3-10 0 4 8

Graham 14:31 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Kapono 29:15 3-6 0-0 0-2 1 4 6

Ukic 11:02 3-7 0-0 0-4 1 1 6

Totals 265:00 39-96 15-20 13-46 21 19 95

Percentages: FG .406, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 2-8, .250 (Calderon 2-3, Graham 0-1, Bargnani 0-2, Kapono 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 10. Team Turnovers: 11 (19 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 2 (Bosh, Marion).

Turnovers: 10 (Calderon 4, Bosh 2, Kapono, Mensah-Bonsu, Parker, Voskuhl).

Steals: 8 (Calderon 4, Bosh 2, Mensah-Bonsu, Parker).

Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 1:06 second; Defensive three second, 7:42 fourth.

Detroit 24 16 28 20 11-- 99

Toronto 21 24 12 31 7-- 95

Att. at Toronto--19,800 (19,800). T--2:37.

Officials--Mark Wunderlich, Bennie Adams, Joe Forte.

NEXT UP

Tomorrow, 12:30 p.m., Indiana Paccer at Raptors, TV: CBC, Radio: Fan 590.


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