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News » No chance without Calderon, Bargnani

No chance without Calderon, Bargnani

No chance without Calderon, BargnaniIt was a night for someone to take control, a night when a weakened team needed an unexpected boost, when the Raptors looked for someone to pick up some slack. They got nothing.

They got nothing from Hedo Turkoglu, the high-salaried free-agent acquisition. They got nothing from Marco Belinelli, the frenetic backup, who is supposed to bring consistent energy. They got nothing from rookie DeMar DeRozan.

What they got - not unexpectedly - was a loss.

With their starting point guard back in Toronto and starting centre on the bench in a sports coat and jeans, the Raptors dropped a 117-95 decision to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at a half-empty Bradley Center, their season-high three-game winning streak snapped with a thud.

"Other guys got a chance to step up ... and I don't think really anybody did," said Raptors coach Jay Triano, left to mix and match lineups in the absence of Jose Calderon (hip) and Andrea Bargnani (ankle).

"We said before the game, we're going to need someone from the bench, and in a back-to-back (nights) you need to have energy from the bench. I thought we got it a little bit in the third quarter, we found a bit of a combination there that made a good run, but it came down to not being able to get stops."

Or to have someone grab a game by the horns and take it.

Chris Bosh was his usual self, compiling his NBA-best 20th double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Jarrett Jack was okay in his second start in place of Calderon, and Sonny Weems tied a career best with 12 points.

But beyond that? Nothing.

Turkoglu was a non-factor, nine points and three assists in 31 minutes; DeRozan had eight points and Belinelli contributed one three-pointer to the scoring cause.

But more than the numbers, it was the effort. None of them seized the moment.

"That's the thing that we didn't have today," Triano said. "We didn't have our other guys get going. It's just unfortunate."

Not entirely unexpected, though, since Turkoglu hasn't really had a breakout scoring game all season, DeRozan's had five good games after a handful of so-so outings and Belinelli's been all over the map.

Until someone from that group steps up to take ownership of games when the team's shorthanded, the losses are going to mount.

Turkoglu, who took only eight shots, was on the court when the Raptors made their lone run, carving a 20-point deficit to eight in the third quarter, but he wasn't about to go all selfish on his teammates.

"We just have to realize sometimes during the game how we get back (into it)," he said. "We were moving the ball, everybody was touching the ball and at that time they couldn't guard us. I don't know what happened. In the fourth quarter we stopped doing that and everyone tried to do it on their own and you can't win like that.

"As long as we do that kind of thing, we're going to see this kind of situation a lot."

The Bucks got double-figure scoring from seven players - Brandon Jennings led the way with 22, opening with a 17-point first half - and a couple of ex- Raptors exacted a measure of revenge.

Carlos Delfino, aside from having the defensive play of the game on a block of a DeRozan dunk attempt, finished with 14 points, while Roko Ukic lit up his old team for 17.

Belinelli has had games of five, zero and nine points sandwiched around 19- and 15-point efforts before Wednesday's deuce and Triano took the heat for the wild swings.

"The way I play him, it's my fault," the coach said when asked about the fluctuations. "If I don't get him in early enough, I just don't feel like he gets into a flow."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 10, 2009


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