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Win is icing on cake

Win is icing on cake
Chris Bosh's birthday present came two days early.

The all-star forward, who turns 25 tomorrow, poured in 16 points and 13 rebounds in defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 100-76 to give the Raptors their largest margin of victory in the 2008-09 National Basketball Association season.

Raptors 100, Clippers 76

Toronto entered the game having lost two in a row and nine of its past 10 but everything clicked yesterday afternoon in front of a ACC crowd of 17,610. Jose Calderon scored 15 points with six assists while Shawn Marion added 14 points and 13 rebounds in a game which the Raptors dominated from start to finish.

"We just have to have fun playing the game of Basketball," said Bosh, who was planning to celebrate his birthday last night at a Gala event in downtown Toronto. "The way to have fun is playing defence, lock them down and run. When you're running and getting dunks, everybody is scoring and everybody is pushing the ball, that is when it is fun."

Zach Randolph had 20 points and seven rebounds for the 17-53 Clippers, who have lost 10 of their past 12 games. Los Angeles star point guard Baron Davis, who signed a $65-million US, five-year deal during the off-season, struggled throughout the afternoon. The 29-year-old scored 12 points on just 20 per cent shooting (3 for 15) from the floor.

The Raptors dominated the paint, outscoring the Clippers 50-38 and grabbed a season-high 57 rebounds. Marion said they had a noticeably upbeat attitude on the court for the first time in recent memory.

"You can see the life of everyone in here," Marion said afterwards. "We just have to try and keep it going. I think we have to take it one game at a time and build on it. When we win, we go forward instead of backwards."

The 25-45 Raptors managed to record the lopsided victory without the services of starting centre Andrea Bargnani, 23. He missed his first game of the season because of a sore left heel. It was the first game he has missed since December 2007 against Houston.

"It is something that has been bothering him a little bit," said Raptors' head coach Jay Triano of his seven-footer, who had his consecutive games played streak snapped at 130. "He is just going to have to get some rest and, hopefully, it calms down."

Toronto got off to a hot start thanks to an 11-point run midway through the first quarter -- capped by a midrange jump shot from Marion to give the Raptors a 22-11.

Randolph tried to keep his team close, scoring the Clippers first eight points of the game and 10 in the quarter, but Los Angeles still found itself down 12 points after the first.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 23, 2009


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