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Improving Raptors throttle Trail Blazers in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers had the look of a team
that had given up.

"It looks like the spirit is gone, the fire is not there,"
Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

Morris Peterson scored 15 of his 22 points during a
third-quarter run, and the Toronto Raptors routed the Blazers
114-81 on Sunday night.

Mike James had 19 points for the Raptors, who shot 59 percent
and outrebounded the Trail Blazers 48-32.

Charles Smith had a team-high 11 points for the Blazers, who
fell to 0-4 on their seven-game road trip. They had lost both of
their last two games by 32 points.

"There is absolutely no presence on the defensive end of the
floor the last couple of games," McMillan said.

Peterson scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer
and Toronto never trailed.

Portland fell behind by as many as 15 in the first, 23 in the
second, 31 in the third and 35 in the fourth. Toronto's starters
didn't play in the fourth.

Portland lost 115-83 Boston on Friday night, and two days before
that the Blazers shot just 26 percent in a 101-69 rout at the hands
of the Indiana Pacers.

McMillan singled out his post players for giving up when they
are double-teamed. Zach Randolph had just 10 points.

"We got to come with some pride, with some energy," Randolph
said. "There was no energy."

Some of Portland's players were laughing and smiling with the
team down by 30.

"I don't know who was smiling or laughing. We lost bad three
games in a row. Ain't nothing funny about that," Randolph said.

To make matters worse for Portland, center Theo Ratliff hobbled
off the court in the third quarter with what the team said was a
severely sprained left ankle.

"It was a nice day off," said Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh, who
played just 26 minutes.

Portland, which has the fewest wins in the Western Conference,
will face Charlotte, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Lakers before
returning home Feb. 22 to play the Bobcats.

Peterson had 15 points as Toronto began the second half on a
20-4 run. Peterson capped the run with a 3-pointer, a fast-break
layup and an alley-oop layup -- giving Toronto a 30-point lead.

He scored the 15 points in the first six minutes of the quarter.

At one point in the fourth just one of Portland's players on the
floor played college ball.

Little-used Toronto center Loren Woods drew laughter from the
Raptors' bench with a big dunk in the fourth.

Toronto improved to 18-17 since staring the season 1-15.

"We knew we were better than we were," Toronto coach Sam
Mitchell said. "I know you all thought I was crazy, but every
night when we would lose a game, they were close games."

Game notes
Bosh received loud applause when the public address
announcer congratulated him for making the All-Star team. ...
Toronto center Rafael Araujo hasn't played since Jan. 20. ...
Toronto has won five of seven. ... The Blazers are 5-19 on the
road.