Toronto (31-27) at Houston (29-29)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX, US
Temp: 93° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Mon Mar 1, 2010
  • TV: TSN, FSH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Favorable matchups helped the Toronto Raptors win their first two games without Chris Bosh(notes). A more challenging stretch has reminded them how much they miss their star forward.

Bosh could miss his sixth straight game as the Raptors try to avoid their fourth consecutive defeat Monday night against the struggling Houston Rockets.

Sidelined the past five games due to a sprained left ankle, Bosh is listed as day-to-day. Though Toronto (31-27) was able to take advantage of last-place teams New Jersey and Washington in the first two games without its leading scorer and rebounder, it has now dropped three in a row for the first time since a season-high five-game skid Nov. 25-Dec. 2.

After home losses to Portland and Cleveland, Toronto was blown out 119-99 at Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

The Raptors committed 18 turnovers and allowed the Thunder to shoot 51.8 percent with six players reaching double figures.

“Without Chris, we just needed to step up,” said forward Hedo Turkoglu(notes), who was held to seven points. “When he comes back, we’re going to be much stronger. His presence will be great throughout the game on both ends of the court. We hope that he comes back soon and puts this team in a better situation.”

Bosh did not travel to Oklahoma City for Sunday’s game, but has not yet been ruled out for Monday.

With or without Bosh, the Raptors will try to get back on track in Houston, where they’re 3-11 all-time. However, the Rockets (29-29) have lost eight of their last 11 at the Toyota Center and seven of nine overall.

Houston is coming off a 133-110 loss at Utah on Saturday, when it gave up its highest point total in nearly 15 years.

“We just offered no resistance at all,” coach Rick Adelman said. “We played pretty good for three quarters (Friday night) against San Antonio and just the opposite tonight. That is how we are we are: very, very inconsistent.”

Despite the dismal defensive effort, the Rockets were encouraged by Kevin Martin’s(notes) strong outing. Acquired at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Tracy McGrady(notes) to New York, Martin scored 32 points while going 9 for 13 from the field against the Jazz. It was the second consecutive 30-point game for the shooting guard, who shot 33.3 percent in his first four contests with Houston.

“It’s getting better,” Martin said. “Every day’s going to be better than the last one. So, you know, the longer I’m here, the more comfortable I’ll be, and there’s going to be a lot of great things in the future for Houston.”

Luis Scola(notes) had 20 points and 16 rebounds in the Rockets’ 107-97 home win over the Raptors last season, while Bosh and Toronto center Andrea Bargnani(notes) scored 25 points apiece. Bargnani has averaged 19.3 points and shot 62.2 percent from the field over his last three games against Houston.

The Raptors took the teams’ first meeting of this season, winning 101-88 at home Dec. 13 behind 27 points from Bosh and 23 from Turkoglu. Scola had 21 points and 15 boards for the Rockets.

The home team has won the last five games in this series.

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Monday, Mar 1