Raps Hang on Despite Fourth Quarter Collapse

Bosh posts his 38th double-double in Reggie Evans debut game

by: James Di Fiore

The first three quarters were the kind of basketball Raptor fans are getting used to. They moved the ball well, had 6 players scoring in double figures, and welcomed back Reggie Evans who played his heart out in the 5 minutes of game time he saw. Then the fourth quarter happened.

Despite the deflated effort in the final frame, the Raps were victorious at home, improving their record to 29-23 after a 104-93 victory at the ACC.

Chris Bosh scored 23 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, netting his 38th double-double of the season. Andrea Bargnani added 16 points, 7 boards and played exceptional defense throughout the game. Reggie Evans, who played just 5 minutes, supplied the Raps with an emotional boost in the second quarter.

Evans, who has missed the first 51 games with a nagging foot injury, came off the bench mid way through the second quarter to a rousing applause by the Toronto faithful. Fans were heard shouting “Reg-gie! Reg-gie!” even before the husky forward made his way to the scorers table. He responded with the kind of hustle Toronto fans were hoping for, albeit for a short stint, but provided the kind of effort that will give the next 30 games a competitive edge for the Raptors squad. In just 5 minutes of play, Evans scored 2 points, snatched 3 boards, collected a steal and drew a charge before leaving the game prior to halftime.

The Raptors may need Evans’ toughness, typified by a lacklustre final period that saw the team blow a fifteen point lead when Philly tied the game on a Thaddeus Young lay up with 2:06 remaining. They were bailed out when Willie Green fouled Jose Calderon in the corner as the Raptor guard launched a 3 pointer. Calderon successfully converted the four point play as the Raps put the game away.

Allen Iverson missed his fifth straight game to be with his ailing daughter. Hedo Turkoglu also missed the contest to be with a sick family member.

The Raptors head into the All-Star break in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, posting a 29-23 record on the season.


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