Weems scores career-high 20 as Raptors win 102-96

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TORONTO (AP)—David Lee(notes) thought the New York Knicks let one get away.

Sonny Weems(notes) scored a career-high 20 points, Jose Calderon(notes) had 16 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Knicks 102-96 on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak despite playing their seventh straight without All-Star Chris Bosh(notes).

“As good as they are at home, with Bosh not playing, we should have won this game,” Lee said. “No matter what quarter we didn’t play well in, with Bosh not playing, this is a game we should have won.”

Jarrett Jack(notes) and Amir Johnson(notes) each scored 14, and Hedo Turkoglu(notes) had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who won on a night when Bosh was forced to go to hospital with severe stomach cramps an hour before the tip.

“I was more concerned about Chris than the game,” Jack said.

Despite suffering flulike symptoms, Johnson started in place of Bosh, whose plans to halt a six-game absence caused by a sprained left ankle were ended when he left for tests about an hour before the game. A Raptors staffer said after the game that Bosh was still in hospital, receiving intravenous fluids.

Turkoglu, knocked out of Monday’s game at Houston by a sore left ankle, left briefly in the second to have the ankle re-taped and sat out the fourth quarter.

“You could see he was laboring,” coach Jay Triano said. “We tried to go as many minutes as we could with him.”

Weems scored 10 points in the fourth and finished with nine rebounds, while Johnson had eight rebounds for the Raptors.

“(Weems) played an outstanding game,” Johnson said. “He was relentless, man. Sonny gave us a big lift.”

Jack said Johnson’s contributions were just as important.

“He did a good job of sparking us early, being on the glass, being a good interior presence for us,” Jack said.

Lee had 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks, while Wilson Chandler(notes) added 18 points. Tracy McGrady(notes) and Danilo Gallinari(notes) each scored 13, and Al Harrington(notes) and Sergio Rodriguez(notes) both had 10 for New York, which has lost 11 of 13.

Like Lee, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said his team could have been better, especially with the game on the line in the fourth.

“I just didn’t think we had the necessary gumption to get up on them and guard a little man-to-man and stop it,” D’Antoni said. “We couldn’t do it. They scored every time.”

Toronto led 92-83 with 5:53 left but Bill Walker(notes) made a layup, Gallinari hit a 3-pointer and, after a timeout, added a jumper from the top to make it 92-90. Jack stopped the run with a reverse layup and Calderon hit a jumper, giving the Raptors a six-point lead, 96-90, with 3:16 remaining.

“They made some shots,” Lee said. “The one that Calderon pulled up on, I touched the ball and touched his hand on the shot and it went in.”

Toronto finished with a season-high 62 points in the paint against the undersized Knicks.

“I thought we did a great job offensively, but, defensively, when you give up that many points in the paint, it’s going to be tough to really stop a team,” McGrady said.

Lee (12) and Harrington (seven) combined for 19 of New York’s 24 points in the first, but Johnson scored eight and Antoine Wright(notes) had seven for the Raptors, who led 31-24 after one.

The Knicks tied it with a 9-2 run to begin the second and, just over a minute later, Turkoglu went to the locker room to get his sore left ankle re-taped. Toronto pushed its lead back to seven before the Knicks rallied again, but Turkoglu returned and made two free throws with 3 seconds left, giving the Raptors a 53-52 lead at the half.

Bargnani had to leave in the third after he was knocked backward into Johnson and suffered a cut on the back of his head. He needed three skin staples to close the gash, but returned before the end of the quarter and helped Toronto take an 78-77 edge into the fourth.

NOTES: Knicks center Eddy Curry(notes) (left knee surgery) was inactive. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Curry will need three or four more practices before he’s ready to play. … Wright received a technical foul for arguing in the second. … Toronto is 19-0 when holding opponents below 100 points. … The Raptors wore their blue-and-white Toronto Huskies throwback jerseys. … Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky attended the game.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New York
D. Lee David Lee
9-15,  23 Pts
18 Rebs, 0 Assists
 Toronto
S. Weems Sonny Weems
9-16,  20 Pts
9 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
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Friday, Mar 5