The Toronto Raptors have fired coach Sam Mitchell after Wednesday's 39-point loss in Denver.
"This is a difficult but necessary step the franchise must take," Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo. "We appreciate all that Sam has done for the organization, applaud him for his successes and wish him nothing but the best with his future in basketball."
Mitchell will be replaced by Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano on an interim basis. He is in his seventh season as a Raptors assistant. A native of Niagara Falls, Triano coached the Canadian men's national team from 1998-2004, posting a 52-42 record.
Triano's first game as head coach will come Friday when the Raptors visit Utah to play the Jazz.
Expected to challenge the Celtics in the Atlantic Division this season, Toronto is 8-9 and already eight games behind Boston.
Mitchell is in his fifth season with the Raptors, posting a 156-189 record. He was named the coach of the year in 2006-07 after guiding Toronto to a 47-35 record and a playoff berth. The Raptors regressed to 41-41 last season but still made the playoffs, losing in the first round.
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