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Recap: Rockets , Raptors
Date: December 13, 2009 12:30 PM EDT
  

TORONTO (AP) -This was one slow start the Houston Rockets couldn't overcome.

Chris Bosh scored 27 points and Hedo Turkoglu had a season-high 23 as the Toronto Raptors beat the Rockets 101-88 on Sunday.

``We had a poor first quarter and it cost us,' Houston coach Rick Adelman said. ``We could never get back from that.'

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Jarrett Jack added 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Raptors, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Andrea Bargnani also had 14 points, and Sonny Weems had 11.

Carl Landry scored 25 points, Luis Scola had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Aaron Brooks put in 20 for the Rockets, who had won two straight and five of six.

Down 10 after the first quarter at Philadelphia on Friday, Houston came back to win 96-91 and hand the 76ers their 12th straight loss.

The Rockets started slowly again Sunday. Bosh had 10 points and five rebounds as Houston trailed 32-17 after one quarter.

``We can't afford to start this way,' Scola said. ``We're not that good. We can't expect to come out and be down 20 and pick it up whenever we want to and come back and win the game. It happens once in a while, but it won't happen against good defenses. We're going to lose 95 percent of the games that we start this way.'

Adelman said his team ``had nothing going' in the first.

``The last three quarters we outscored them,' Adelman said, ``but you get down on the road to a team with some talent like they have and it's going to be hard.'

Toronto coach Jay Triano added some new offensive sets designed to get Turkoglu the ball in key situations and the strategy paid off as the Raptors won for the fourth time in six games.

``That's what Hedo can do,' Bosh said. ``He can create for other people and he can create for himself. If he's aggressive shooting the ball and taking it to the basket, that really helps us out. It gets everybody involved and it gets him going. When we're doing that, we're a hard team to beat.'

It was Toronto's third victory this season over a team with a winning record, all at home. The Raptors topped Cleveland on Oct. 28 and Miami on Nov. 20.

The Rockets lost to a club under .500 for the second time in nine games. Houston was beaten by Sacramento on Nov. 13.

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, the team's leading scorer, was ejected with 3:47 left in the third quarter for swinging his arm at rookie DeMar DeRozan following a steal. Referees stepped in after Jack confronted Ariza at midcourt, and the altercation didn't escalate.

``I'm going to have anybody's back in that situation, no matter who it is,' Jack said. ``If I feel like somebody's taking a cheap shot at our guy, I'm going to stand up for him, no question.'

Ariza finished with one point in 26 minutes. He was 0 for 9 from the floor.

DeRozan, who knows Ariza from summer games in Los Angeles, said there were no hard feelings.

``I know it wasn't intentional or nothing,' DeRozan said. ``He was just frustrated, he wasn't hitting any shots, they were down by 20. Just in the heat of the game, it's frustration. It's definitely no problem, he's still my man.'

With the Rockets in an early hole, Landry scored 11 points in the second but Turkoglu had eight as Toronto carried a 55-42 edge into halftime.

Houston made just 1 of 15 field goal attempts to begin the third, allowing Toronto to extend its lead to 71-49. The Rockets made six of their final 11 shots and closed the quarter on a 14-4 run but still trailed 75-63 heading into the fourth. They didn't get closer than nine points in the fourth.

Houston went 3 for 24 from 3-point range. The Raptors finished 5 for 12.

Raptors guard Jose Calderon (sore left hip) sat out for the third time in four games and is unlikely to travel with the team for games at Miami and Orlando on Tuesday and Wednesday. Jack started in Calderon's place for the fourth straight game.

``I'm just trying to keep the boat settled,' Jack said. ``Hopefully we can keep it going until Jose gets healthy, because we sorely need him.'

NOTES: Brooks has scored at least 20 points in four of six games. ... Toronto is 8-0 when holding opponents below 100 points. ... Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi attended the game.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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