Notebook: Bobcats 98, Raptors 97

Posted Nov 21, 2012 11:03 PM

By Derek S. Smith, for

THE FACTS: Kemba Walker scored 19 points to lead seven Charlotte Bobcats in double figures in a 98-97 come-from-behind win over the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Andrea Bargnani led all scorers with 25 points while Kyle Lowry scored 21 in his return to the starting lineup for the Raptors.

QUOTABLE: We are young. There's exuberance and an excitement about the game of basketball. We're learning as we play each game. The winning is giving us a lot of plusses. A lot of intangibles. We won ugly tonight and it doesn't really matter. The better part will come, but we're finding a way. -- Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap.

THE STAT: Trailing 98-97, Toronto had a total of five missed shots in the final 28.3 seconds of play including a Bargnani miss at the buzzer, but was unable to get any of them to fall.

TURNING POINT: Bobcats second-year forward Bismack Biyombo scored on back-to-back possessions late in the third quarter to keep Charlotte in the game. The points along with his energy and enthusiasm gave confidence to the coaching staff which later made the rare move to insert Biyombo for defensive purposes in the game's waning moments. The decision to go with that small lineup late made the difference and gave the Bobcats the win.

HOT: Bargnani scored a season-high 25 points in the loss to Charlotte on 9-of-17 shooting. He was 2-of-3 from the three-point line and was a perfect five-of-five from the free throw line. Bargnani is averaging 21.3 points over the last three games while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor.

NOT: Although the team is 4-1 in its last five games, the Bobcats have struggled mightily from behind the three-point line. Charlotte was 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) in Wednesday's victory and have connected on just 17-of-72 (23.6 percent) in the last five contests. The Bobcats are currently last in the league in three-point shooting.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Lowry returned to the starting lineup Wednesday night and left off right where fantasy owners had hoped. Lowry had 21 points, three rebounds and eight assists against Charlotte. Lowry connected on 6-of-15 shots from the floor and was 4-of-7 from behind the arc while sinking five of his seven free throw attempts. Lowry struggled with his shooting Tuesday in Philadelphia, but responded well in his 36 minutes of action Wednesday. It was Lowry's fourth 20-point game of the season.

GOOD MOVE: Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap has shown great faith in second-round draft pick Jeffrey Taylor. Taylor drew the defensive assignment of DeMar DeRozan and frustrated the Raptors leading scorer all game. DeRozan finished with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but had just six points heading into the final stretch of the game.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jonas Valanciunas notched his second straight double-double and third of the season with his 16-point, 10-rebound performance. Both Valanciunas and Terrence Ross had rim-rocking dunks and Ross tallied a career-high 11 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was one of seven Bobcats in double figures and finished with 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Taylor finished the game with a career-highs in points (11), rebounds (6) and assists (2).

NOTABLE: Walker and Ramon Sessions have both scored in double figures in each of Charlotte's first 10 games. Ben Gordon was a game-time decision according to coach Dunlap with a bruised knee, but finished the game with 13 points and four assists. The Bobcats stand at 6-4 and have tied the franchise mark for best record through 10 games to start the season. Those six wins are just one shy of its total from all of last season. The team didn't earn its sixth win last year until its 40th game. The Bobcats picked up their fourth home win as well which equals their total from last season. Charlotte is now 5-0 in games decided by four points or less. Jose Calderon had averaged 12.8 assists in the previous six games with Lowry out of the lineup, but tallied just four assists Wednesday. Dominic McGuire recorded season highs of eight rebounds and five assists.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Friday @ Detroit, Sunday vs. San Antonio, Tuesday @ Houston. For the Bobcats, Friday vs. Atlanta, Saturday @ Washington, Monday @ Oklahoma City.