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News » Raptors hit new low point

Raptors hit new low point

Raptors hit new low point
A season that started with so much promise for the Toronto Raptors is turning into a nightmare.

Tayshaun Prince scored 23 of his 25 points in the second and third quarters, helping the Detroit Pistons pull away from the Raptors in a 95-76 win Wednesday night.

The Raptors have now lost seven straight games and 28 overall. Only the Wizards have lost more in the Eastern Conference.

It's a bitter pill to swallow for a team that planned to go deep in the post-season after acquiring centre Jermaine O'Neal in the off-season, and started the season 3-0 before plummeting into the dregs of the East.

"We need to do a better job of fighting through adversity," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "I don't know why, but when we get down, we seem to lose confidence and hang our heads a little."

Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 19 points. Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points for the Raptors and O'Neal had 11 points, playing for just the second time in 13 games. O'Neal has been slowed by a sore right knee.

"We didn't move the ball," Bosh said. "We were just standing and looking and trying to force things."

Elsewhere in the NBA it was: Boston 98 Miami 83; Houston 108 Utah 99; New York 114 Phoenix 109; Milwaukee 133 Dallas 99; New Orleans 102 New Jersey 92; Charlotte 101 Memphis 86; Cleveland 104 Portland 98; Washington 110 Sacramento 107; Los Angeles Lakers 108 Los Angeles Clippers 97; and Okalhoma City 122 Golden State 121.

At Auburn Hills, Mich., Prince led a balanced attack for the Pistons, who won their second in a row after losing five consecutive games.

Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points, Maxiell had season highs in points (16) and rebounds (11), Iverson scored 11 and reserve Antonio McDyess had 10 points and eight rebounds.

"Maxiell just worked harder than we did," Triano said.

Prince has often been overlooked in his seven seasons in Detroit, where he has been surrounded by all-stars. But his ability to be a shutdown defender and make an array of shots has made him an unsung contributor.

"I call him the 'Quiet Assassin' because he gets the job done quietly," teammate Jason Maxiell said. "People may forget about him, but he gets the job done."

Prince's chance to excel improved when coach Michael Curry chose to change the lineup, putting Richard Hamilton on the bench and Amir Johnson at power forward.

Those moves led to Prince going back to small forward.

"That's his natural position and he's just a really good player," said Bosh. "It's always tough to match up with him whether he's at (small forward) or (power forward) because he's so versatile.

"He plays great defence, and he was knocking down his jumper today. He did a fantastic job."

In typical fashion, Prince just shrugged off the accolades.

"When the opportunities present themselves on offence and you get into a rhythm, you've got to take advantage of it," Prince said. "When you have so many talented guys that make plays, we tend to go to the guys in rhythm."

Hamilton struggled to find his groove in his first game off the bench with the Pistons after starting 611 games for them, including six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals and an NBA title in 2004.

"It's a new challenge," he said.

Hamilton scored seven points in his first game off the bench since Feb. 1, 2002, when he was playing for the Washington Wizards. The following off-season, they traded him to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse.

"It's going to take him a little time to get his rhythm, playing in that type of role," Curry said. "But I think he's going to be great in it and I think we're going to be better because of it."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 24, 2009


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