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News » Raptors survive scare to defeat lowly Wizards

Raptors survive scare to defeat lowly Wizards

Raptors survive scare to defeat lowly Wizards
There is a limit, thankfully, to the Toronto Raptors' charitable contributions.

Threatening to cough up a 21-point lead to the Wizards and lose to both doormats in each NBA conference inside of three weeks, the Raptors found enough pluck from Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, with 19 combined fourth-quarter points, coupled with brutal finish by the home team to hang on 99-93 last night.

Washington had closed as tight as five points, evoking memories of Toronto's December road loss to the Oklahoma Thunder, before it finally sealed its third win in four games, improving to 15-21.

"They gave us a scare," guard Jason Kapono said. "But Chris and Andrea made some free throws down the stretch and we're leaving D.C. with a W."

The two clubs often looked like their combined records of 21-47. Certainly the 7-27 Wizards looked exactly like they'd played, lost and travelled the night before from Orlando, while the rested Raptors still turned the ball over 20 times.

But coach Jay Triano was full of praise for his heavily taxed nine-man roster, which shot more than 54 per cent for the second straight game.

"It was a gutsy performance to step up with guys out (Jose Calderon, Jermaine O'Neal), guys missing (Jamario Moon) and even the trade (of Hassan Adams before the game) shook the room a bit," Triano said.

Bargnani, looking more comfortable as a starter, led the Raps with 25 points and two blocked shots.

"This isn't a one-time thing, he's played very well the last six or seven games," Triano said, though it's clear O'Neal is welcome back any time. "He and Chris are familiar with each other now and starting to gel."

Bosh had a huge fourth quarter and matched unscheduled starter Joey Graham with eight rebounds .

"It was the confidence booster we need to get ourselves going back home," said Graham. "We have to take care of home-court advantage now (against Memphis and Boston this weekend). We were missing more than a few players, we were missing three starters, but guys stepped up into those roles."

Triano said the Raptors couldn't take anything for granted despite the Wizards' record.

"You can't look at the records and expect to just come in here and think you'll get a win. This is a very good team."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 9, 2009


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