NBA: Raptors lose game to Cavs, Bosh to injury
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — Flattened by an inadvertent elbow to the face, Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh was sent to the hospital for tests Tuesday night as the Raptors' playoff hopes took a blow with a 113-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have won 11 straight at home.
Bosh was accidentally struck by Cleveland's Antawn Jamison in the first three minutes. Bosh, who had blood dripping from his nose and mouth area as he was assisted from the floor, was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for a CT scan and further treatment and evaluation.
Following the game, the Raptors said Bosh returned to Quicken Loans Arena in the fourth quarter. They hope to have an update on his condition before the team leaves Cleveland. A team spokesman said it was still possible Bosh could spend the night in the hospital.
Jamison scored 20 points — 12 in the third when the Cavs opened a double-digit lead — and Anthony Parker had a season-high 18.
LeBron James scored 19 with 13 assists and Mo Williams had 14 and 12 assists for Cleveland, which has wrapped up the NBA's best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs and is expected to rest players in the next few games to get ready for the postseason.
Jarrett Jack scored 23 for the Raptors, who also lost forward Antoine Wright in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
Bosh's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Raptors, who entered the night clinging to the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has a tough week ahead with games against Boston, Atlanta and the Chicago Bulls, who went into Tuesday one game behind the Raptors in the standings.
Bosh was fighting for position in the lane with Jamison when he was nailed by the elbow. Bosh immediately dropped to the floor and stayed there as play continued at the other end. Dazed by the blow, Bosh got to his knees as blood poured onto the court.
When there was finally a whistle, medical personnel from both teams went onto the floor to attend to Bosh, who was in obvious pain. Holding a towel to his face, he was helped from the court and taken to Cleveland's locker room, where he was examined by Cavs team physician Dr. Richard Parker.
Despite losing Bosh, who averages 24.3 points and 11 rebounds, the Raptors were still within seven points with 7 minutes to go. James, who sat out the first 4:21 of the fourth, then scored six straight points as the Cavaliers opened a 104-91 lead.
With the league's best record locked up and nothing to play for until the playoffs, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown intends to rest his players in the coming days.
"I look at these games as a high-level practice," he said. "If we don't win, it doesn't really matter."
The Raptors don't have that luxury. Every game is crucial, and if Toronto is able to hang on and make the playoffs, which would be tough without Bosh, the Raptors could face the Cavs in the opening round — a matchup that Toronto guard Sonny Weems wouldn't mind.
"Every game we've played them, it's been real close," Weems said before the game. "I don't think they want that in the first round of the playoffs. We're going to come to play."
The Cavaliers were without guard Delonte West, rested as a precaution with what the team said were lower back spasms. Anderson Varejao returned after missing three games with a sore hamstring and had 10 points in 28 minutes.
NOTES: Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal has not yet been cleared for contact, Brown said. O'Neal has been out since Feb. 25 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. ... Duke winning the NCAA title was tough on Jamison, a former North Carolina Tar Heel. "It's a sad day in Chapel Hill," Jamison said, referring to UNC's campus. "I don't think anybody even went outside down there." ... Toronto has lost 11 in a row at Cleveland. The Raptors haven't won here since April 6, 2004.