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Bosh leads Raptors to fifth consecutive win

Feb 10, 2007 - 5:54 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- All-Star Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors finally got over the hump.

Bosh had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Parker scored 18 points as the Raptors pushed their winning streak to five games with a 96-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The win helped Toronto capture its first five-game winning streak since taking five in a row from December 28-January 6 last season.

"It's a very good win, it was very tough but we were able to protect our home court so we are happy," said Raptors rookie Andrea Bargnani, who scored 14 points off the bench.

It also was the Raptors' first victory in four tries against the Lakers, who entered with a commanding 17-4 all-time record in the series.

"It was a great atmosphere, a lot of people were cheering for Kobe (Bryant) when he did anything and that made it kind of fun," Parker said. "As a team we just stayed together and continued to move the ball, played unselfishly, got the good looks and some of the shots started to fall."

In the fourth quarter, Morris Peterson drained a 3-pointer and Bosh scored on an easy layup as the Raptors created a 79-67 advantage with 8:37 remaining.

However, the Lakers stormed back to grab the lead on superstar Kobe Bryant's thunderous one-handed dunk for a 92-90 advantage with 2:04 left. But 15 seconds later, T.J. Ford found Peterson wide open in the left corner for the go-ahead shot from the arc.

Los Angeles had a chance to send it into overtime after Bosh and Parker both split a pair of free throws. After a pump fake, Bryant had a good look but misfired on a 3-pointer with two ticks left.

"Oh no was what I thought," Bosh said. "I wanted him (Bryant) to miss and he did. We just can't have a breakdown like that again."

"Just a touch short, just a touch short," Bryant said about his missed shot. "Nine times out of 10 that goes in."

Toronto will face a much bigger challenge when they cross the border for a matchup with the Eastern Conference-leading Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

"We have a tough game,it would be a lot different if we were going into Detroit kind of mad at ourselves, knowing we let one get away," Bosh said.

Bryant had 25 points and nine rebounds and Lamar Odom chipped in 17 and 12 for the Lakers, who fell to 3-4 on their eight-game East Coast swing.

"We've just got to get a win on Sunday (at Cleveland), break even and go home," Bryant said. "This is a very long trip for us, we are a young team. What comes with being a young team is learning how to gather up your energy and execute, but that comes with experience."

"There's definitely fatigue setting in on this team but it's no excuse why we can't come out and execute," said Lakers guard Smush Parker, who scored 18 points. "We have to do a better job as team as a whole."