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Bosh leads Raptors to victory in rematch with Hawks

Nov 29, 2008 - 6:52 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Exactly three weeks ago, the Atlanta Hawks torched the Toronto Raptors with an explosive second half en route to a blowout victory in Atlanta. On Friday, the Raptors turned the tables at home and held off a late rally to defeat the Hawks, 93-88.

Chris Bosh continued to light things up, collecting 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Raptors to their second win in a row. The All-Star center came into the night as the league's second-leading scorer at 26.7 points per game - and he did not disappoint.

He scored eight points in a 12-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters as Toronto pulled ahead for good. With the Hawks clinging to a 65-61 lead, Bosh buried a jump shot and Jason Kapono tied the game on a fadeaway. Moments later, Bosh stepped back for a go-ahead jumper as the Raptors started to cruise. He capped the run with a finger roll to push the lead to 73-65.

"He's playing very good, he's an All-Star and he's playing at such a high level," Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said of Bosh. "He's a tough matchup for any big in our league on both ends of the floor. He's playing fantastic."

The Hawks staged an 8-2 run in the final minutes to cut their deficit to 91-88. Maurice Evans sparked the surge, burying a 20-foot jumper and following with a driving lay-in moments later. With 1:20 on the clock, Mike Bibby knocked down a 17-footer and answered Jose Calderon's layup with one of his own to make it a three-point ballgame.

"We hung in there," Bibby said. "I think they were playing better than we were, but we kept fighting, we were up at halftime but we couldn't get the stops down the stretch."

On the other end, Marvin Williams blocked Anthony Parker's jump shot to give Atlanta chance to tie or pull to within one. But the 22-year-old forward misfired from short range as the Raptors hung on.

"It was a little tough for us offensively. We had so many shots that went in and out," Bosh said. "Instead of letting that get us down, we continued to play tough defense. We gave them one hard shot, and if they made it, they made it and we carried on. But usually when they missed it, we got the rebound."

Calderon struggled from the field - hitting just 3-of-11 - but dished out 11 assists for Toronto. Bosh more than picked up the slack, however. For the second straight game, he patrolled the paint alone in the absence of injured center Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal has been sidelined with a sprained left knee that he originally suffered November 21 against New Jersey. He tried to return the next game, but lasted just 13 minutes before departing once again.

"We need every member of this team," Bosh said. "We want to continue to play with confidence and just keep doing the things that we've been doing."

The Hawks, meanwhile, continue to struggle since their hot 6-0 start briefly made them the talk of the league. They have lost six of nine since.

Bibby led five Hawks players in double figures with 24 points. Joe Johnson added 18, but shot just 7-of-24 from the floor. Zaza Pachulia grabbed 17 boards, including eight on the offensive glass.

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