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Jack downs Raptors as Trail Blazers win without Randolph

Dec 10, 2006 - 8:47 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- No Zach Randolph, no problem for Jarrett Jack and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jack scored 22 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 93-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Portland's leading scorer and rebounder, Randolph was suspended one game Saturday for his actions at the end of Friday's game at Indiana. The 6-9 forward fouled out with 15 seconds left in the 108-95 loss and made an obscene gesture toward fans as he walked off the court.

Without Randolph, who averages 25.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, the Trail Blazers relied on a combination of players to account for Randolph's production.

"Coach (Nate McMillan) wanted us to come out and make up for the missed energy of not having Zach," Jack said. "We needed to shoulder his load. If we play the way we are capable of, playing we won't miss him as much."

Jack grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and dished out eight assists while shooting 9-of-15 from the floor to lead five Blazers in double figures.

"I talked to Jack right before the game about leadership with Zach not being here tonight," McMillan said. "We really needed him to take control and take over as a leader as far as being vocal and getting us into our sets and just leading us.

"Normally when he knocks down his first shot he gains a lot of confidence and he played well, close to a triple-double."

Martell Webster scored a season-high 22 points and reserve Juan Dixon chipped in 16 for Portland, which won for just the second time in its last nine games.

"We definitely established a backcourt presence today," Webster said. "Our guys stepped it up, especially down the stretch. We pulled it out with some big rebounds and our guards got in on the rebounds as well. We went in there and scrapped for loose balls."

While the Blazers more than made up for Randolph's absence, the Raptors looked lost without All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who was sidelined with a bone bruise in his left knee.

The 6-10 Bosh, who also is battling a minor case of plantar fasciitis, is averaging team highs of 20.5 points and 12.2 rebounds, the third-highest mark in the league.

"We couldn't rebound," said Toronto coach Sam Mitchell, whose team was outrebounded by a 56-34 margin. "That's the thing we talked about - how much Chris does for us. He's top-three or four in the NBA in rebounding."

"Both teams had to make a huge adjustment today, Toronto without Bosh and us without Zach," McMillan added. "I thought our guys came out - we talked about being connected - and played hard and played together."

Portland built a 50-41 halftime cushion and owned a seven-point advantage early in the fourth quarter when Travis Outlaw made a pair of free throws to start an 8-0 run. Jamaal Magloire capped the surge with a free throw to make it 81-66 with 4:58 left.

"This is a young team and for them to step up in Zach's absence, that shows a lot of character," said Magloire, who grabbed 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes off the bench. "Without Zach, we had to find other ways to win this game and rebounding was a big key for us."

Morris Peterson scored a season-high 23 points off the bench and T.J. Ford added 19 points for Toronto, which has lost three straight.

"I don't think they didn't play hard, but maybe you're asking guys to try to do something that's out of their character," Mitchell said of his team. "Maybe asking guys to be more assertive offensively may not be in their nature."








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    PORTLAND 93
    TORONTO 83 FINAL

    Dec 10 3:37 PM
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    Trail Blazers vs. RaptorsDec 10 3:28 PM


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    Dec 10 2:54 PM


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    PORTLAND 50
    TORONTO 41 HALFTIME

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