for this game

Bosh leads Raptors past Kidd-less Nets

Feb 14, 2008 - 7:40 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- All-Star Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors made it look easy against the Jason Kidd-less New Jersey Nets.

Bosh scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the first half and also grabbed nine rebounds as Toronto crushed New Jersey, 109-91, on Wednesday.

Jose Calderon had 22 points and 12 assists and Andrea Bargnani scored 14 for the Raptors, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I think we learned a lesson from the last game against the San Antonio Spurs and we played hard from the beginning," Calderon said. "That is what we have to do every game and we did that today."

Toronto also was facing a New Jersey team that was without Kidd, who soon could headline a proposed seven-player trade with the Dallas Mavericks.

Although the teams were still sorting out final details, the deal reportedly would consist of sending Kidd, a nine-time All-Star, and forward Malik Allen to Dallas for guard Devin Harris, veteran swingman Jerry Stackhouse, center DeSagana Diop, swingman Devean George and guard Maurice Ager.

"It's just been a very, very emotional day," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's hard, we wish we would have competed a lot harder but you've got to give Toronto credit. It's been a crazy day."

A story on indicated that George has exercised his right to block the trade.

"Right now, it is what it is," Nets guard Vince Carter said. "I'm not a GM, I can't do anything (about the potential trade). I would have tried to block it already. Right now it is just wait and see what happens."

With Kidd in street clothes for the Nets, the Raptors went right to work putting the game away early.

"Anytime a trade goes down right before the game it kind of catches you off guard," Bosh said. "Guys that don't usually play have to step up and it's just a different feeling that we wanted to take advantage of from the beginning."

"We have played without Jason before," Nets forward Richard Jefferson said. "Some for short stretches and some for long. Whatever happens, whenever our new teammates come, that will be the last day that I answer questions about our former teammates."

Bosh, who connected on 8-of-12 shots from the floor and 11-of-13 from the foul line, scored 10 early points as Toronto raced out to a 27-13 advantage with 2:19 left in the first quarter. The Raptors finished the period leading, 30-17.

"We are just trying to finish off (before the All-Star break) with intensity," Bosh said. "We are just trying to play everyday hard. It's paying off for us right now. We just have to start every game like tonight and give it to opponents early."

After Carter cut New Jersey's deficit to 46-34 with 4:33 left in the half, Toronto went on a 16-7 spurt to take a 62-41 halftime lead. Calderon and Bargnani each scored eight points in the period for the Raptors, who shot 51 percent (39-of-76).

"Now everybody can go and rest for four days without thinking about basketball," Calderon said.

Toronto, which also outrebounded New Jersey, 41-28, led by 29 entering the final period.

"All day we talked about 48 minutes and a concentrated effort and just good solid basketball," said assistant Jay Triano, who served as acting head coach while Sam Mitchell was away tending to family business. "We wanted to be five games over .500, create a little space and now we have seven days to rest."

"I don't think we lost our heart, I think Toronto played better than we did," Frank said.

Carter and Richard Jefferson each scored 15 points and reserves Darrell Armstrong and Stromile Swift each had 12 for the Nets, who shot 49 percent (36-of-74) but saw their three-game winning steak snapped.

"Coming off back-to-back games (with a nine-man rotation) and not getting into Toronto until 4:30 this morning, we got off to a slow start and couldn't find any rhythm," Jefferson said.

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