<
>

Marshall's 27 and 16 pace Toronto in finale

4/13/2004

TORONTO (AP) -- Breaking with past practice, nobody addressed the
crowd after the Raptors played their final home game of the season.

Perhaps it was because no one is certain what lies ahead for
Toronto.

Donyell Marshall had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Raptors
ended Detroit's eight-game winning streak with a 87-78 victory
Tuesday night.

Vince Carter added 19 points for the lottery-bound Raptors, who
end their season at Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

The Raptors, who are 32-49, did not have a front office person
speak to the crowd after the final home game of the season. Former
general manager Glen Grunwald has traditionally addressed and been
booed by the crowd, but the Raptors fired him April 1.

Team President Richard Peddie has said a new general manager
will decide whether coach Kevin O'Neill returns or not. O'Neill
also could be bought out of his contract as soon as Thursday.

"I don't have a problem with him," Carter said. "If I had a
problem with him I'd voice my opinion to them, but I don't have a
problem."

Earlier Tuesday, O'Neill acknowledged he has thought about what
he'll do if he's fired.

"If I end up getting fired I might just go ahead and watch my
son play baseball for a year and do some broadcasting and just
chill out a little bit," said O'Neill, whose 17-year-old son lives
in Arizona.

Detroit's Ben Wallace became the first player in league history
to have four consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 rebounds, 100
steals and 100 blocks. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam
Lacey all did it three times.

Wallace needed one rebound in Detroit's season finale to do it.
He finished with seven rebounds and 15 points.

"That's just one of the things that comes with playing hard,"
Wallace said. "That's been my assignment for the last couple of
years, to go out and rebound and defend and make things happen on
the defensive end."

At 54-28, Detroit finished third in the Eastern Conference. The
Pistons won't know who they will face in the playoffs until
Wednesday night.

"We are going to fine tune our game and worry about who we're
going to play later," Wallace said.

Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups missed the game because of
a sprained left ankle, while forward Rasheed Wallace sat out with a
sore left arch. Billups has missed three straight games, Wallace
two.

Carter capped a 9-0 run in the third quarter with a 360-degree
dunk. Ben Wallace followed with two straight layups to cut the lead
to six, but Chris Bosh made a jumper and Marshall made consecutive
3-pointers, giving Toronto a 64-50 lead.

Mehmet Okur cut Toronto's lead to five on two free throws with
2:45 left, but Marshall capped a 7-2 run with two free throws,
giving Toronto a 86-76 lead with 1:18 remaining.

Game notes
Detroit coach Larry Brown said O'Neill isn't to blame for
Toronto's season. "Things were going good until they got injuries.
When you get injuries in your first year as a coach, it's pretty
tough, because you're only as good as your players," said Brown,
who was almost fired in his first year in New Jersey. "We started
out something terrible and they had an owners meeting and they were
going to fire me before the 20th game. One owner stood up and
backed me and here I am, I've been fooling them ever since." ...
Toronto ended a six-game home losing streak. ... Bosh had 13
rebounds and 12 points.