for this game

Bosh returns for Raptors in rout of Heat

Mar 20, 2008 - 3:25 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors welcomed back Chris Bosh on Wednesday night, but they didn't really need him.

Bosh made his return after a lengthy absence as the Raptors ended a five-game losing streak with a 96-54 rout of the Miami Heat.

Bosh, who entered Wednesday averaging nearly 23.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, missed the last 10 contests with a sore right knee. It was a struggle for the Raptors without their All-Star as they went just 2-8 during that span, including a winless five-game road trip out West.

"We were hungry for a win," Bosh said. "It's a little bit easier to come and and be focused and play hard when your backs are against the wall. We played great and did a great job defensively tonight."

As hard as it was for Toronto without Bosh, it was even easier against Miami.

The Raptors led 29-16 after one and extended the advantage to 58-26 at the break. Toronto shot 62 percent (24-of-39) from the field in the first half while limiting Miami to 29 percent (11-of-38) and a franchise low-tying nine rebounds.

"It was an emotional lift to have your best player back in uniform," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "I just thought our defensive things we wanted to do, the things we wanted to take away from them, we did."

The Heat were trying to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season but, instead, they turned in one of the most pathetic performances in team history - setting a franchise low for points scored and field-goal percentage (25.6).

"We left everything in Milwaukee last night," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "We didn't want to be humiliated. We've had four or five games like this this year, and when it goes it just absolutely goes."

Miami's 54-point total was also its third lowest since the shot clock era began and came on the heels of a 40-point fourth quarter the night before.

"I'm not going to make any excuses," Riley added. "The worse that it got I think the more heart we lost; every time a shot wouldn't drop we just got more and more frustrated."

Bosh scored eight points and had eight rebounds, Anthony Parker and Andrea Bargnani each scored 14 points and Jamario Moon added nine and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Raptors.

"To be a part of this team and to win the game like we did is great, especially coming off the road and losing five in a row," Moon said. "To come out and get a career high was big - it's something I've been concentrating on, and it really helped us out a lot."

Chris Quinn scored 14 points for the Heat.

"Obviously, it was pretty embarrassing to come out and lose like that," said Quinn, who played a career-best 48 minutes. "I'm a little tired. This is a tough one to swallow."

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