CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 19 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter
scored 34 points as the Toronto Raptors edged the Charlotte Hornets, 91-89, for their season-high fourth straight win.
Alvin Williams hit a pair of free throws with six seconds left to give the Raptors a 91-88 lead. Carter committed his sixth foul on Baron Davis with 1.8 seconds left before Davis passed to Elden Campbell, who hit a shot from beyond the top of the key but had it waved off.
"I concentrated real hard on those free throws at the end," Williams said. "I knew if I made both, all they could do was tie us."
Davis made his first free throw and intentionally missed the second. The rebound bounced in the air and Charlotte's Jamaal Magloire tipped it but it rolled off the front of the rim.
Jerome Williams attempts a layup in Charlotte.
"We're finding ways to win right now," Carter said. "We're playing hard and we believe in each other. Even when I was in foul trouble, I felt I had to keep playing hard and not worry about picking up that last foul. I just had to go for it."
Carter was 12-of-28 with four 3-pointers before fouling out. Antonio Davis added 13 points and eight rebounds and Williams scored 11 points for the Raptors, who have won four in a row for the third time this season but have yet to win five straight.
"Everybody has all of a sudden pushed their game up a level," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "I like our attitude and I like the way we're playing right now. Charlotte's always a tough place to play. They play well at home and it's just a great win for us."
Toronto limited Charlotte to just 3-of-12 shooting from the arc while sinking 7-of-20 3-pointers.
"We're starting to feel real good about ourselves," Williams said. "We're playing well now. I feel our success is coming from our defense. We're doing a good job on the perimeter and we're playing good help defense."
Campbell was 7-of-11 for 22 points for Charlotte, which lost its second consecutive game. Baron Davis scored 18 points and backcourt mate David Wesley added 17 and nine assists.
"Right now I just want to win games," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. "I want to get this bad taste out of my mouth. The guys are playing hard. They're giving me what they have. We just can't seem to get over the hump down the stretch."
Toronto led by as much as 53-40 on a dunk by Carter to begin the second half. Charlotte came back to take the lead at 84-83 on a jumper by Stacey Augmon with 5:28 left.
Antonio Davis responded with a dunk with 5:05 left, and Toronto led thereafter.
"Pretty soon, we'll learn how to win," Wesley said. "We just couldn't make up the 10 points. We have to make shots at the end. We have to create turnovers and get stops."
Carter erupted for 17 points in the first quarter to stake Toronto to a 23-20 lead. He added five more points in the second 12 minutes as the Raptors extended their advantage to 51-40 by halftime.
"We had to jump out quick tonight," Carter said. "The last few times that we've come here they jumped on us early so I took the initiative to come out and shoot. It was important that we come out early with aggression tonight."
"The guys have got to find a way to get pumped up," Silas said. "We can't continue to come out slow and dig ourselves a hole. For some reason the effort was not there in the first half."
Charlotte outrebounded Toronto, 47-37, but the opportunistic Raptors scored more second-chance points, 20-12.
"It was the first half that was our undoing," Silas said. "They beat us in all categories. They outrebounded us, outhustled us. It was a total role reversal in the second half."
"We got off to a bad start," Campbell said. "We played better in the second half. We have to be more consistent to turn things around. We have to be more consistent across the board."