Raptors know pain game

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

HOUSTON -- Forgive Jay Triano if he can't quite bring himself to shed a tear for the Houston Rockets and their sudden loss of centre Chuck Hayes to injury.

Triano would trade his left arm right about now to have just one major injury.

"It's unfortunate for them, but they can join the club," Triano said of the loss of Hayes who sprained an ankle Thursday in practice.

Triano wasn't being mean-spirited there.

While the Rockets are down Hayes, and of course Yao Ming, the Raptors M*A*S*H unit of a roster continues to be a revolving door.

In Dallas it was no Jose Calderon and, at least to start, a healthy Jerryd Bayless.

Not even in the building were Andrea Bargnani, Reggie Evans and Peja Stojakovic. On the bench, but unable to play with a bad back was Sonny Weems.

For the Houston game last night, Calderon was back while Bayless made a last-second decision to give it a try. Bayless gave it a try but ended up only playing eight minutes against the Rockets.

"I think Amir (Johnson) feels a little better than he has in the past couple of games so I'd say we're probably a half step ahead of where we were," Triano said.

Johnson has been playing in pain (back) for at least the past two games, but the treatment throughout it all has him almost back to 100%.

"It's the NBA. Guys have to play hurt," Triano said.

"You have to play hurt, not with injuries, but aches and pains. Everyone has them and everyone is hurting a bit. That's the NBA."

Now the Rockets have some added injury worries of their own, but they're still not in the predicament the Raptors are in and have been since this trip began in Memphis five nights ago.


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