Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chris Bosh leads the Toronto Raptors Past the Charlotte Bobcats

TORONTO, ON (LE)- Chris Bosh scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors to 93-86 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night at the Air Canada Center.

Bosh shot a sizzling 15-for-20 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

Sparsely used back up Joey Graham added a season high 17 points and had six rebounds off the bench for Toronto. Andrea Bargnani scored 11 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had three blocked shots.

Gerald Wallace had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bobcats and Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 14 rebounds. In the first period, Wallace was struck in the face by Jamario Moon going for a rebound and left the game briefly, but returned less than a minute later.

Wallace scored 17 points in the first half.

Rookie D.J. Augustin had another strong game for Charlotte, scoring 13 points and dishing out four assists, though he did commit seven turnovers.

After suffering a heavy defeat to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, during which Chris Bosh controversially refused to join his team mates during a time out, he came out focused and determined from the start tonight.

“I tell Chris…The great ones, they walk on the floor every night and they think they’re the best player on the court” said Raptors Coach Sam Mitchell.

And tonight Bosh certainly was.

He hit 9-of-10 field goals and all six of his free-throw attempts in the first half, scoring 24 points to take the Raptors into 51-46 lead at half-time.

Despite Bosh’s strong play, Toronto was unable to capitalize and Charlotte kept the game close. When Jared Dudley scored a pair of free-throws with 3:45 remaining in the third period, Toronto’s lead was down to four points, 65-61.

Joey Graham then scored five of Toronto’s next 10 points to push the Raptors lead out to seven points, 75-68 at the end of the third period.

“Joey gave us a huge lift coming off the bench giving us energy” said Mitchell.

Raptors point guard Jose Calderon hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter which gave Toronto its biggest lead at 10, 78-68 with 11:03 to go. It looked like Toronto might start to pull away, but when Okafor hit a jump shot along the baseline as the shot clock expired it closed the margin to a single point at 87-86 with 2:58 remaining.

The Raptors then scored the final three baskets of the game. Firstly Bosh hit a jump shot and Graham was credited with a basket after Okafor was called for defensive goal tending and Calderon then hit a pull up jump shot to seal the win.

Notes: Jermaine O’Neal missed the game for Toronto with a knee strain and Jason Richardson sat out for Charlotte, also with a knee injury…the Bobcats have lost five of their last six…Bosh picked up a tech foul for arguing a call in the second period.

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