TORONTO (AP)—After Chris Bosh jumped high for a fourth-quarter alley-oop, Larry Brown knew he was watching a memorable performance, and the Charlotte Bobcats coach wanted to make sure his young team knew it, too.
“That ball was almost thrown out of the gym and he just kind of guided it around,” Brown said of Bosh’s acrobatic basket. “I told our bench, ‘I’ve seen him have a lot of great games but this is one of the special ones.”’
How special? Bosh made his first eight shots from the field and started 6-for-6 from the line. He didn’t miss a shot until there was 4:25 left in the second quarter, when his baseline jumper with the shot clock winding down bounced off the rim.
“He gets better and better,” Brown said. “He’s posting up better, he’s putting it on the floor better. Before, you didn’t know whether he was a 4 or a 3. Now he’s just a great basketball player.”
Bosh made five more field goals and another pair of free throws before missing again, going 1-of-2 from the line with 7:13 remaining in the fourth. He finished 15-for-20, setting a career high for made field goals.
“I’m just figuring a couple of things out,” Bosh said. “I’m trying to have a little bit of confidence in myself, of course, and every night I’m trying to bring it to the table.”
Bosh’s double-double was his eighth of the season.
“He controlled the game offensively and defensively,” Dudley said. “You see why he’s one of the best power forwards in the game. It’s really hard to guard him. He gets to the free throw line, his jump shot is much improved.”
Bosh said he became aware of his hot shooting early in the second.
“I said, ‘OK, it’s one of those nights,”’ Bosh said. “I just tried to keep it going, pace myself and run when I had the opportunity.”
Bosh scored a career-high 42 in a road loss to Phoenix on Dec. 22, 2007, then matched that in an overtime loss to New Jersey last Friday.
Augustin and Raymond Felton, who combined for 48 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds in Monday’s victory over Philadelphia, were held to 17 points, three rebounds and 11 assists. Felton scored four points, going 2-for-10 from the field.
“Those two guards are quick and hard to handle, they can break you down,” Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. “Jose, Anthony Parker and our guards did a good job of just keeping them in front and challenging their shots and keeping them out of the paint.”
“When your better shooters go 2-for-12, that’s going to impact us, but I was proud of the way we played,” Brown said.
Toronto led 87-80 on Bosh’s dunk with 7:01 remaining, but Bosh missed consecutive jumpers after Okafor’s follow shot, and Augustin scored on a driving layup with 4:23 left to cut it to 87-84, forcing Toronto to call timeout.
Bosh missed again and Graham had an airball before Okafor’s baseline jumper cut it to 87-86. But Bosh responded with a jumper and Graham dunked over Okafor to put the Raptors up, 91-86.
“When you’re down 10, you’ve got to play perfect at the end and we just missed so many easy shots,” Brown said. “We had our opportunities and it didn’t happen.”
Charlotte, the NBA’s lowest-scoring team, has been held below 100 points in all but two of its 14 games.
Charlotte guard Jason Richardson (right knee) missed his seventh straight game. … Forward Jermaine O’Neal (left knee, left ankle) sat out for the Raptors. … Bosh got a technical for arguing midway through the second.