Notebook: Bobcats 107, Raptors 101



Posted Mar 20, 2013 11:35 PM

Bill Kiser, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Byron Mullens scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Charlotte Bobcats won back-to-back games for the first time in four months, beating the Toronto Raptors 107-101 Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

Gerald Henderson added 21 points and four other players finished in double figures for the Bobcats (16-52), who overcame an 11-point deficit in the first quarter to post their first winning streak since Nov. 19-21, 2012, when Charlotte was in the midst of a 6-4 start.

Rudy Gay scored 25 points for the Raptors (26-42), who have now lost five straight games on the Bobcats' home court.

QUOTABLE: "We're kinda going back to the way we were playing at the beginning of the season. I don't want to get way overconfident because this is just two wins, but it's two wins in a row. It's been a while since we've done that, so I'm going to enjoy it."
-- Byron Mullens

THE STAT: Mullens, who had been in a shooting slump and had seen his playing time reduced over the last three weeks, hit 7-of-11 from the field -- including 3-of-4 3-pointers -- and 8-of-12 from the free throw line in his highest-scoring game since putting up 25 against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11. He also finished with five rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

TURNING POINT: After trailing by as many as nine points early in the fourth quarter, the Raptors rallied to cut the Bobcats' lead to 94-93 on a pair of Jonas Valanciunas free throws with 3:18 remaining. But Ben Gordon, who finished with 16 points, hit a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer over a 29-second span to give Charlotte some breathing room.

THE STAT II: The Bobcats' bench came up with one of their best games this season. In addition to Mullens and Gordon, veteran guard Jannero Pargo finished with 11 points as Charlotte's reserves outscored Toronto's bench 54-13.

HOT: Josh McRoberts, making his sixth start since joining the Bobcats a month ago, scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. That was McRoberts' second double-double in the last five games.

NOT: Raptors forward Amir Johnson, who had 39 rebounds and 30 points in his last two games, finished with a team-best 10 boards but only scored eight points against the Bobcats.

GOOD MOVE: The Bobcats lost starting point guard Kemba Walker to fouls with 1:45 left, and Pargo had five fouls. That prompted Charlotte head coach Mike Dunlap to sub out Pargo when the Raptors had the ball, preserving him for offensive opportunities.

THE STAT III: The Bobcats finished with six players in double figures, the second straight game where they've had six or more score 10 or more points. In addition to Mullens, Henderson, Gordon, Pargo and McRoberts, Walker finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and four steals before fouling out. Charlotte had seven players in double figures in beating the Washington Wizards on Monday.

QUOTABLE II: "I think we thought this was going to be easy. The shots were falling (early), so we relaxed a little bit. We got into the second quarter, and they got us on our heels and took control of the momentum of the game the rest of the way. If you don't approach games with the mindset that you are going to compete for 48 minutes at every position, it is tough to win."
-- Raptors head coach Dwane Casey

ROOKIE WATCH: Valanciunas finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots for the Raptors. Meanwhile, Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist struggled, scoring just two points and grabbing five rebounds.

NOTABLE: The Bobcats are now 2-2 this season against the Raptors, with both wins coming at home. The other home win over Toronto, on Nov. 21, 2012, capped Charlotte's last winning streak.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Friday vs. Knicks, Sunday @ Knicks, Wednesday, March 27 vs. Hawks. For the Bobcats, Saturday vs. Pistons, Sunday @ Heat, Wednesday, March 27 vs. Magic.