The joys of winning

The Raptors' Roko Ukic (left) and Clippers' Mike Taylor battle for the ball during Sunday action in...

The Raptors' Roko Ukic (left) and Clippers' Mike Taylor battle for the ball during Sunday action in Toronto. (Sun Media/Ernest Doroszuk)

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

Jake Voskuhl makes a rare start, while Jose Calderon, who rarely dunks, briefly hangs on the rim following an uncontested flush.

It was, indeed, one of those rarest of games where the unexpected happened.

Given the hopelessness of their post-season pursuit, at least the Raptors found an opportunity to relish the moment.

Nothing of any consequence can be gleaned from yesterday's 100-76 win over the woeful Los Angeles Clippers, but at least the reeling Raptors didn't have to explain why they weren't defending or making shots with the game on the line.

"It's always good," Chris Bosh said of the joys of winning. "The position we are in, all we want to do is just win games.

"We just have to have fun playing the game of basketball.

"The way to have fun is playing defence, lock them down and run. When you are running and getting dunks, everybody is scoring and everybody is pushing the ball. That's when it's fun."

Too bad the Raptors don't play the Clippers more often.

In two games this season, the Raptors have outscored the Clippers 197-151. The 24-point margin of victory was Toronto's largest of the season.

Pathetic is too kind a word to describe the effort L.A. put forward.

The Clippers produced the grand total of two offensive rebounds, posted 14 assists on 29 made baskets and allowed the Raptors to heave 100 shots.

"It has been a tough year," Clippers rookie guard Eric Gordon said. "There was no excuse for why we didn't play hard."

The Raptors have been bad, but the Clippers are downright brutal.

This kind of tonic doesn't surface often, which made for an upbeat atmosphere inside the Raptors dressing room.

"It's nice to get back on the winning track,"' Roko Ukic said. "Obviously, it has been a tough season for us."

Voskuhl started for the first time in three seasons, thrust into the role when Andrea Bargnani was unavailable because of a sore left heel.

Bargnani was the only Raptor to appear in each of the team's previous 69 games. He hadn't missed a match since Dec. 11, 2007, a stretch of 130 games.

Coach Jay Triano could have gone small by inserting either Pops Mensah-Bonsu or Joey Graham, but went with Voskuhl's veteran presence.

"He knows defensive coverage," Triano said of Voskuhl. "He did a real good job. He communicates back there and did a nice job for us to start both halves."

Triano could have started little-used centre Patrick O'Bryant against a Clippers team that was completely disinterested in competing.

The 57 rebounds hauled down by the Raptors represented a season high, as did their field-goal total, the most in a regulation game since Feb. 23, 2001, when Toronto attempted 103 shots against Sacramento.

Heck, Anthony Parker produced two blocks, only his 13th and 14th of the season.

"Any win right now is great, regardless of who we're playing or the situation," Shawn Marion said.

"It's a win and you can see the life of everyone in here. We just have to try to keep it going."


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