10:30 PM ET, December 22, 2008
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Bosh scored 18 of his 31 points in the final period and the Raptors snapped a five-game losing streak with a 97-75 victory on Monday night.
"If you look at the lineup we had in there, Chris was going to be the focal point," interim coach Jay Triano said. "We didn't really have a lot of points on the floor, but I said, 'It doesn't matter. We're giving the ball to Chris, and they can't stop him."
Bosh scored 12 consecutive Toronto points during a 3:02 span -- including a pair of 3-pointers and a three-point play -to help increase a 15-point lead to 92-73 with 4:43 remaining. He got a tad greedy and shot an airball from 25 feet about a minute later, much to the delight of the crowd of 16,094.
"Coach just told me to keep being aggressive," Bosh said. "I saw right away from the beginning of the fourth quarter that he was just going to put the ball in my hands and make plays for myself. So I just wanted to be assertive and attack the rim. Once I started doing that, everything opened up."
Randolph had 19 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles during a foul-plagued 28 minutes, and left the game with 10:44 to play after bruising his left knee in a collision with Jake Voskuhl on a layup by Bosh 16 seconds earlier.
"That was tough," Baron Davis said. "It shocked everybody that he was walking off the court. He's our horse. He's the guy we're going to go to on the block, so we want him to have the ball because he scores on anybody and he makes good decisions. So anytime you lose your horse, your go-to guy, it's tough."
Trailing by as many as 21 late in the first half, the Clippers got as close as 66-60 in the final minute of the third quarter as Randolph scored nine points during an 18-5 run. But his injury ended any hopes of a Clippers comeback.
"Hopefully it's just a bone bruise," Randolph said. "It's a little sore, but I expect that right now. I just need to keep icing it."
Rookie Eric Gordon also scored 19 points for the Clippers, coming off a 119-85 drubbing at Milwaukee that ended their 2-2 road trip. Baron Davis had 16 points and nine rebounds. Al Thornton, the only Clippers player who saw action in this game -- and in the previous meeting with Toronto on Feb. 8 of last season -- missed nine of 10 shots and equaled a season low with five points in 34 minutes.
"When we started, we talked about the process," Triano said. "If you look at the last couple of games and the way we're playing defense right now, we are making progress. But we have to make sure we continue to work. Then we'll find our legs and start making shots."
Marcus Camby, whose current streak of 15 consecutive games with double-digit rebounds included a career-high 27 for the Clippers at Chicago last Wednesday, missed the game due to personal reasons. As a result, Brian Skinner made his first start of the season at center while Randolph shifted to power forward.
"We thought we'd have a little bit of an advantage inside, especially with Marcus out," Triano said. "But that was the game plan -- even if Marcus was here -- that we would attack that team inside because we knew they were depleted with injuries."
The Raptors led 51-32 at halftime after holding the Clippers to 30.8 percent shooting. Randolph, who scored only four points in 25 minutes during Saturday's loss to the Bucks, went to the bench with 7:23 left in the first quarter after picking up his first two fouls 66 seconds apart.
The Raptors went on a 14-4 run during the next 4:14 while Randolph was on the bench, and it didn't get any better for the Clippers after their leading scorer got his third foul with 9 1-2 minutes left in the half. Coach Mike Dunleavy left him on the floor this time, and Toronto scored 13 straight points during a 4:04 stretch to pull out to a 48-29 lead after Randolph's 20-footer reduced the deficit to six with 5:56 left in the half.
Clippers rookie G Mike Taylor, who fractured his right thumb in last Friday's double-overtime win at Indiana, is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday and will not partake in any basketball activity for 6-8 weeks. ... The Clippers (8-20) reached the 20-loss mark before Christmas for the fourth time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984-85, and the first time since 1997-98 under coach Bill Fitch (5-23). ... The Raptors are 3-8 since Jay Triano replaced Sam Mitchell as head coach on Dec. 3.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||36-80 (.450)||25-76 (.329)|
|3PM-3PA||7-19 (.368)||7-18 (.389)|
|FTM-FTA||18-24 (.750)||18-23 (.783)|
|Fast Break Points||0||2|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||21 (0/0)|