The Toronto Raptors are opening a three-game homestand with Chris Bosh’s(notes) status uncertain. With or without the All-Star forward, they might want to try a different game plan against the Washington Wizards.
After overcoming Bosh’s absence to continue their torrid scoring run, the Raptors look to end a three-game home losing streak to the lowly Wizards on Saturday night.
Toronto (30-24) won 106-89 at New Jersey on Friday night, extending its franchise record for consecutive 100-point games to 19. The Raptors shot 59.7 percent, even with Bosh missing the game due to an ankle injury.
Bosh, who was hurt in a 109-102 overtime loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, wasn’t in New Jersey and is listed as day to day. He leads the Raptors with 24.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, both career highs.
Bosh has played in Toronto’s last two home games against Washington (19-33) after missing the previous matchup due to a knee injury. The Raptors came up short in each contest, though the Wizards have been one of the league’s worst teams during that span.
Bosh was one of three players to score at least 20 points for Toronto in a 106-102 home loss to Washington on Dec. 1. Since then, the Raptors have won 15 of 18 at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors needed overtime to win their only other meeting with the Wizards this season, 109-107 on Dec. 4. Bosh had 31 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.
Rasho Nesterovic(notes) didn’t score in 4 minutes off the bench in that contest, but he had a strong performance as Bosh’s replacement versus the Nets, posting a season-high 16 points. The 7-footer didn’t play in the previous three games and had totaled two points in 10 minutes over the two games before that.
“There are some nights you just feel it,” Nesterovic said. “It’s much easier than if you’re struggling. All I can do is try and do my best.”
Washington will again be without big man Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes), who will not travel to Toronto. His future with the team is uncertain after being acquired from Cleveland as part of three-team trade Wednesday.
Ilgauskas finally reported to the Wizards on Friday, but he arrived too late to participate in practice. The veteran could be bought out.
Washington, though, got strong efforts from two of its other new additions in a 107-97 win over Denver on Friday night.
Al Thornton(notes), acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of Wednesday’s deal that sent Antawn Jamison(notes) to the Cavaliers, scored 21 points in his Wizards debut. Josh Howard(notes) added 20 points in his first start for Washington since being acquired from Dallas on Feb. 13.
Coach Flip Saunders, seemingly excited over the Wizards’ new look, had a unique pregame pep talk.
“We’ve got to play like a bunch of mad dogs,” he told them.
It was the Wizards’ second game without Jamison. Andray Blatche(notes), who has replaced Jamison in the starting lineup, had a career-high 33 points in a 108-99 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night and posted 18 points and 11 rebounds versus the Nuggets.
Blatche has helped put the Wizards in position to try to win three straight for the first time this season.