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Raptors beat Rockets in 2 OTs

11/16/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Rookie Chris Bosh showed the confidence of a
veteran in his finest game as a pro.

Bosh forced overtime with his first NBA 3-pointer and scored 10
of his season-high 25 points in the extra periods to lead the
Toronto Raptors to a 101-97 double-overtime victory over the
Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Bosh, the fourth overall pick in the draft out of Georgia Tech,
hit a 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force
overtime, and added four points in the first extra period and six
in the second as the Raptors improved to 5-0 at home and 5-5
overall.

"I was open. I felt confident. I didn't hesitate. The basket
looked pretty big, so I just let it go," Bosh said.

In regulation, Bosh made a jumper over Yao, cutting Houston's
lead to one with 32 seconds remaining. Steve Francis followed with
a 19-foot jumper, giving Houston a three-point lead with 15 seconds
left, but a double-teamed Vince Carter found Bosh, whose 3-pointer
tied it at 83 with 7.2 remaining.

"He was lucky. He just threw it up and hoped it went in,"
Francis said.

Francis scored 25 points, and Yao Ming added 20 points and 12
rebounds for Houston.

Carter scored 18 points for Toronto, and teammates Lamond Murray
and Antonio Davis each added 13.

Bosh said he impressed himself with the poise he showed.

"I just stayed calm. I've been here before, just not at this
level," he said. "It gives me confidence to know that I can have
good games after bad games."

Bosh struggled in his first start of the season in Friday's loss
to Sacramento, and Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill used him in a
reserve role against the Rockets.

"I don't think it's best for Bosh's long term growth to be a
starter right now," O'Neill said before the game.

Bosh responded by shooting 7-for-11 from the field and 10-for-10
from the line. He also grabbed six offensive rebounds.

"I feel very comfortable with him taking a 3-pointer at the end
of a game," O'Neill said. "I have a lot of faith in that kid."

O'Neill drew up a potential game-tying 3-pointer for Bosh in a
loss to Portland last Tuesday, but a covered Bosh passed the ball
off to Murray, who missed a 3.

In the second overtime, Bosh's offensive rebound and basket gave
Toronto a 96-93 lead with 33 seconds left.

After Mobley missed a jumper, Bosh made two free throws.

After Francis made a jumper to cut the lead to three, Bosh
converted two more free throws to give the Raptors a five-point
lead with 14 seconds left.

The 19-year-old Bosh went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in
overtime.

"He's poised. I looked at him take that three, and he looked
like he knew what he was doing," Houston's Cuttino Mobley said.
"And then he goes to the foul line and sinks six shots in a row,
that kid is poised."

Francis missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer, forcing
overtime.

Francis also missed another potential game-winning 3-pointer at
the buzzer of the first overtime.

Game notes
Asked about his second visit to Toronto, Yao said: "It's
still very cold." ... Carter shot 0-for-10 from the field before
making consecutive jumpers in the third. ... Francis shot 9-for-27
from the field. ... Toronto's Jerome Williams had nine rebounds,
eight points and five steals in the first half.