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News » Terrible start stymies rally

Terrible start stymies rally

Terrible start stymies rallyWhen the Raptors needed their legs and their energy the most, they were gone; lost trying to overcome another dreadful start that put them in another hole too deep to climb out of.

They had somehow managed to turn a rout into a nailbiter, carving an 18-point deficit to one early in the fourth quarter when just one shot or two may have turned the game completely.

But that's when the tank hit empty, the shots went awry and the problems caused by a terrible start ended in a 104-91 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

"I had to probably play the starters a lot more early in the game to get back into the game," said coach Jay Triano, whose team trailed by 16 at the end of one quarter and had to fight just to make things interesting. "Late in the game, we just had nothing left. We just counted seven wide-open, uncontested shots in the fourth quarter and we didn't make one of them.

"(Jose) Calderon, (Hedo) Turkoglu, (Marco) Belinelli, (Andrea) Bargnani, those are the guys we expect to shoot the Basketball and they had nothing left in their legs, whether it's because of four games on the road or because we had to use them so much early in this game to climb back into it.

"We didn't have anything left."

But had they made a couple of those shots, and had they found a way to steal the game, it would have been a terrible injustice given the Raptors' efforts in the opening two quarters.

"Our energy level wasn't real high at the beginning and every time they missed, they got the offensive rebound," said Triano.

"No excuse for a slow start like that, but that's why we went to the bench early, that's why we called timeouts, to get regrouped and I thought we did a good job of that."

Knowing they were facing a rested team in a hostile environment, it would have been logical to think the Raptors would have come out with some energy to match that of the Jazz.

Instead, they played one of their worst quarters of the year in the first, allowing Utah to shoot 61 per cent and take a 33-17 lead. It was all an uphill climb from there and it's admirable that they made it a game, abominable that they looked so bad to start.

"Yeah there was," Chris Bosh said when the lack of intensity was mentioned to him. "A couple of times I took my eye off my guy on a simple offensive set and he stepped right in front of me. Just little stuff at the beginning ... that's uncharacteristic of me and of us. We have to learn from that."

Bosh, who was otherwise outstanding with 32 points and 17 rebounds, knows his team isn't good enough to overcome such slow starts against quality opponents

"We have to really emphasize a good start," he said. "Try to get as tired as you can in the first four or five minutes instead of waiting to see what happens and get into the game. Just go out there and bust your ass."

The Jazz, idle since Saturday, regressed as the game went on and Toronto paid at least some attention to interior defence. Still, Carlos Boozer finished with 22 points and Deron Williams had 20, more than making up for the absence of starting centre Mehmet Okur, who sat out the game with the flu.

"I thought we had a great fourth quarter to finish the game like we did," said Utah coach Jerry Sloan. "Down the stretch we executed our offence. This was as terrific win for us."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 19, 2009


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