Raptors rip Pacers

Raptors' Chris Bosh drives to the basket against the Pacers during second half action Sunday. (QMI...

Raptors' Chris Bosh drives to the basket against the Pacers during second half action Sunday. (QMI Agency/Greg Henkenhaf)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Hedo Turkoglu's night lasted all of 61 seconds.

In Raptors year's past, that wasn't just cause for concern, it was reason for all-out panic.

But this year’s panic-free Raptors is a team that is playing with the type of confidence not seen around these parts since the 2006-07 version won 47 games.

A big reason for that is that they employ a bench that is not only capable of filling the void in time of need, but in doing so, offers little drop-off from the staring unit.

Turkoglu's absence was a mere footnote by the end, because his replacement Antoine Wright came on to score 15 points, six rebounds and apply his traditional shut-down defence on Danny Granger just when the Pacers needed him most.

That would be the final quarter when Granger, despite seeing his team crawl all the way back from a 16-point deficit to tie it, and admittedly shackled with foul trouble, managed to play the entire 12 minutes and not score a single point.

The formula may not have been the one the Raptors started out with, but it was more than good enough for a fifth win in a row, this one by a 117-102 score.

Turkoglu took a Mike Dunleavy elbow in the face just as the game turned a minute old and did not return. X-rays during the game revealed a slight non-displaced fracture of the orbital bone under his right eye. The team was already investigating the use of a mask for future games.

But the way this team is rolling and overcoming injuries, the concern level is surprisingly low.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Turkoglu personally, who was coming off his best game as a Raptor two nights earlier when he hit for season highs with 26 points and 11 rebounds in a win over the New York Knicks.

Sonny Weems made his third start in a row in place of the injured DeMar DeRozan and had a career-high 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.

“We are getting good production from a lot of guys,” head coach Jay Triano said in the understatement of the night.

Including Wright’s 15, the Raptors got 45 points from their bench and that was with Marco Belinelli having a rare off night in which he was held pointless.

“We have a strong bench and I think that is one of the keys to our success this year,” Chris Bosh said. “We will need them to continue to play well. Just play hard, play with passion and play defence every night. Amir (Johnson) does a great job, Antoine stepped in and did a great job , and of course Jose (Calderon) is always solid.”

Bosh was no shrinking violet himself, finishing with a team high 26 points, 15 rebounds and even seven assists.

As happy as the Raptors were with the play from their bench, it was Bosh who got the lions’ share of the accolades from Indiana’s dressing room.

“We’ve tried over the years to put big guys on him, it doesn’t work” Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien said. “We’ve tried to put small guys on him; that doesn’t seem to work either. I don’t know if we have somebody to play Bosh to tell you the truth.”

The Pacers will get another shot at it on Tuesday when the same two teams do battle in Indianapolis.


Videos

Photos