Johnson, Raptors nick Knicks

Andrea Bargnani holds off the New York Knicks' Al Harrington in Toronto.  (Alex Urosevic/QMI Agency)

Andrea Bargnani holds off the New York Knicks' Al Harrington in Toronto. (Alex Urosevic/QMI Agency)

MIKE GANTER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

The Bosh-less era for the Raptors reached an unexpected seventh game Friday night.

But unlike the past two games without the franchise player, the remaining Raptors didn’t take his absence as a signal to roll over and play dead.

Led by Jose Calderon and Sonny Weems, both players coming off the bench, the Raptors won an ugly one, 102-96 over the visiting New York Knicks.

Bosh didn’t make it to shootaround, an absence explained away as an upset stomach.

He did make it to the Air Canada Centre at his scheduled pre-game arrival but didn’t make it past the locker room.

Bosh, according to head coach Jay Triano, was suffering such cramps that he couldn’t straighten up. The team was so concerned Bosh was sent to hospital for further examination.

With thoughts of another appendix scare reminiscent of what Andrea Bargnani went through his rookie season, there was plenty of angst in the building.

While there is no official word on Bosh’s status yet, word had begun to filter back to the Air Canada Centre that doctors were treating it as a stomach ailment as opposed to anything involving Bosh’s appendix.

Amir Johnson, who admitted before the game he wasn’t feeling that great himself - “Just got to sweat it out,” he said - took Bosh’s place in the starting five, his first start of the year.

As it turned out it wasn’t the starters that were even the story for the Raptors.

The story came from the bench where Weems produced a career high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds and Calderon chipped in with 16 and a half dozen assists to snap the Raptors four-game losing skid.

Weems and Calderon were two of six Raptors to get into double figures in scoring. The only starter who didn’t get there was Andrea Bargnani and he was playing with three skin staples in his head that were necessary to stitch up a cut he got courtesy of an errant elbow.

Bosh’s absence didn’t appear to hurt the Raptors scoring inside as they matched their season high with 60 points in the paint against a defensively challenged Knicks squad.

Calderon exposed the Knicks time and again as he blew by defenders to the basket.

Predictably without Bosh in the lineup, David Lee had his own tea party under the Raptor basket finishing the night with a game high 23 points and 18 boards.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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