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Houston at Toronto

Short-handed Raptors rip Rockets by 21, snap three-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

TORONTO -- The Houston Rockets didn't feel much like winners after grinding out a four-point home victory on Wednesday.

They were surefire losers in Toronto on Friday night.

Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani each scored 19 points and the Raptors snapped a three-game losing streak with an emphatic 94-73 victory over the Rockets, handing Houston its fourth defeat in six games.

"For us, it's embarrassing," Houston guard Rafer Alston said. "I think they want to hand out pink slips and fines the way we've been approaching our game and going about our business lately."

Alston hinted at discord in Houston's locker room when asked whether the team is on the same page.

"Not at all, not one bit," he said. "We had this happen the other night in Houston and it happened tonight. It's sad and it's unfortunate."

Houston led by 15 against Milwaukee on Wednesday, then saw its lead cut to one before winning 85-81. Afterward, the Rockets said it didn't feel like a victory.

For Toronto, Friday's win brought relief after a stretch that saw the Raptors drop 13 of 17, including four straight at home.

"We needed that," Bosh said. "Everybody was thinking about the whole New Year thing and how to start off fresh, just get a change in momentum. That was a good win for us. We were overdue for it."

Already without forward Jermaine O'Neal, who missed his second straight game with a sore right knee, Toronto lost guard Jose Calderon to a strained right hamstring early in the second quarter.

"Nobody expected us to win tonight," Bosh said. "Not only did we win, we won in convincing fashion."

Joey Graham had 10 points, and Anthony Parker had eight points and eight rebounds in the Raptors' first home victory since a 101-88 victory over Indiana on Dec. 10.

"We were gritty," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "On every possession there was real focus."

Toronto held Houston to a season low in points. The Rockets' previous low was Nov. 14 in a 77-75 loss at San Antonio.

"I didn't like the way we played the whole game," Rockets coach Rick Adelman grumbled. "It just wasn't there, we weren't in synch. Everything was one-on-one isolation. There was very little movement."

Reserve Von Wafer led Houston with 18 points. Yao Ming scored 14 points, Ron Artest added 12, and Luis Scola had eight points and 13 rebounds.

Former Raptors swingman Tracy McGrady, bothered by a sore left knee, was held to four points on 2-for-9 shooting for the Rockets.

"I got a little frustrated at times," McGrady said. "It's kind of hard to get in the groove when you're only touching the ball once every five minutes."

McGrady started but said he will skip Saturday's game at Atlanta and is only expected to play every other game during a stretch of three back-to-backs over the next nine days.

Bosh scored six straight points as Toronto ended the first quarter with a 14-2 run to open a 25-14 lead. Houston cut it to 31-30 with 6:32 remaining in the second, but Bargnani scored eight straight points for the Raptors to build a 48-38 lead at the half.

Bargnani opened the third quarter with five more points, part of a 9-2 run that gave Toronto a 57-40 advantage.

"He's been playing well," Bosh said of Bargnani. "He's taken the challenge on defense and on offense. He's doing a good job."

Houston shot 4-for-22 in the third, scoring only 10 points, and trailed 69-48 heading into the fourth.

Calderon, who came in third in the NBA with 9.0 assists per game, sustained his injury while driving to the basket late in the first. Calderon returned in the second but lasted just a few possessions before signaling to the bench for a substitution. He is day-to-day.

For Calderon, who missed two November games with the same injury, it was the first time he failed to record an assist since a 102-98 win at Indiana last Feb. 25, a stretch of 57 games.

Notes

  • Toronto had not lost five straight at home since March 29 to April 9, 2006.
  • The Rockets were 7-for-27 from 3-point range.
  • All of Wafer's points came in the fourth.
  • Houston forward Shane Battier (sore left foot) missed his second straight game, and is expected to miss at least five more.
  • Former NFL quarterbacks Doug Flutie and Jesse Palmer attended the game.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Toronto's Andrea Bargnani scores 19 points on an efficient 8-for-12 effort from the field. (Getty Images)
Toronto's Andrea Bargnani scores 19 points on an efficient 8-for-12 effort from the field. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Houston (21-13) 1424112473
Toronto (13-20) «2523202694
HOU:V. Wafer 18 Pts
HOU:L. Scola 13 Reb
HOU:R. Alston 4 Ast
TOR:C. Bosh 19 Pts
TOR:A. Parker 8 Reb
TOR:W. Solomon 7 Ast
Players of the Game
TorontoHouston

A. Bargnani

Y. Ming
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
19611480

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Houston
L. Scola, PF304-60-013238
T. McGrady, SG292-90-02224
Y. Ming, C295-124-680314
R. Alston, PG283-72-21408
L. Head, PG170-61-23301
R. Artest, SF244-110-051312
C. Landry, PF241-70-05022
B. Barry, SG201-60-03312
A. Brooks, PG201-70-02313
V. Wafer, SG127-92-211118
C. Hayes, PF90-21-23011
D. Mutombo, CDid Not Play
S. Battier, SFDid Not Play
J. Dorsey, PFDid Not Play
Totals 28-8210-1446191773
 34.1%71.4% 
Toronto
C. Bosh, PF338-183-652219
A. Bargnani, PF338-121-261519
A. Parker, SG263-82-28108
J. Moon, SG233-51-21217
J. Calderon, PG132-30-00015
J. Graham, SF255-80-041410
J. Kapono, SF222-70-00015
W. Solomon, PG214-60-04718
J. Voskuhl, C181-31-28243
R. Ukic, SG151-50-01302
K. Humphries, PF71-42-31114
H. Adams, SF52-40-02004
J. O'Neal, PFDid Not Play
N. Jawai, PFDid Not Play
Totals 40-8310-1740202094
 48.2%58.8% 
Other Games
Mia 76 Final
Orl 86
Wash 83 Final
Bos 108
Chi 92 Final
Cle 117
Atl 91 Final
NJ 93
Ind 105 Final
NY 103
Sac 92 Final
Det 98
GS 108 Final
Min 115
SA 91 Final
Mem 80
Den 122 Final
OKC 120
Phi 86 Final
Dal 96
Char 75 Final
Mil 103
LAC 98 Final
Pho 106
NO 92 Final
Port 77
Utah 100 Final
LAL 113