Raptors 117, Wizards 112

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TORONTO (AP)—Chris Bosh is dreaming of becoming an All-Star for the first time, while Mike James has his sights set on free-agent riches. They both made strong cases for themselves Wednesday night.

Bosh had 33 points and 13 rebounds, James made two 3-pointers in the final minute and finished with 29 points, and the Toronto Raptors held off the Washington Wizards 117-112.

Bosh, who appears to be a lock for the All-Star game now that Jermaine O’Neal is hurt, went 14-for-19 from the floor. The third-year forward reached 30 points at home for the first time in his career.

“I’m nervous. I just hope they call my name,” Bosh said of becoming an All-Star. “I don’t talk much about it. I just wait.”

James, in his first season with the Raptors, is expected to opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent. He’s having an impressive season so far, and has scored at least 19 points in four of his last five games.

“If people want to say I’m marketing myself that way, that’s fine, so be it,” James said.

Toronto led by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter, but Gilbert Arenas’ 3-pointer cut the lead to one with 1:25 left. James, who had 29 points, followed with consecutive 3-pointers to give Toronto a 115-110 lead with 24 seconds remaining.

James glared at the Wizards bench after the shot.

“I love the look on the other teams face when you hit a big shot,” James said. “Just that discouragement on their face, it kind of excites me.”

Attendance was just 13,640, the worst crowd in franchise history. The previous worst was 13,863 on Nov. 7, 2004, against Portland.

Arenas scored 35 points for the Wizards, who beat Indiana the night before. They looked tired before rallying late. A win would have put them at .500 for the first time since Dec. 6.

“That .500 mark is haunting us right now,” Arenas said.

The Wizards seemed to tire in the second half as Toronto outscored them 31-21 in the third quarter and 43-36 in the fourth. The 43 points were a season high for a quarter.

James went 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“They shot the lights out,” Arenas said. “We finally got some stops, but we just couldn’t pull it out.”

Rookie Charlie Villanueva scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth, including two 3-pointers that gave Toronto the 18-point lead with 6:03 left.

Toronto shot 54 percent from the floor, compared to 52 for Washington.


Villanueva was selected for the Rookie Challenge as part of All-Star weekend in Houston. The Raptors were criticized when they took Villanueva with the seventh pick, and Villanueva has used that as motivation. “It’s a good accomplishment proving my critics wrong. Playing in that game is an honor,” Villanueva said. … Arenas has scored 30 or more 21 times this season.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
C. Butler C. Butler
8-13,  18 Pts
3 Rebs, 6 Assists
C. Bosh C. Bosh
14-19,  33 Pts
13 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders