TORONTO, March 7 (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors found holding onto a lead a lot easier with the New Orleans Hornets' best players sitting on the bench.

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Vince Carter had 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Raptors snapped a seven-game home losing streak with an 84-76 triumph over the Hornets, who played the fourth quarter without leading scorers Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn.

Carter shot 10-of-24 from the field and made big plays down the stretch as the Raptors held the Hornets at bay. Their task was made easier with Davis and Mashburn on the sidelines.

"It is good not to have two All-Stars out there," said reserve forward Morris Peterson, who added 17 points. "We've been struggling and haven't been playing real well and losing games in the end."

"Toronto plays a low-scoring game, and you need your two best players, but today it just didn't happen," Mashburn said.

Davis, who averages 23 points per game, did not start after missing a morning meeting. He finished with just six points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"The statement was made by not starting him and that says everything," Hornets coach Tim Floyd said. "We would have preferred for him to be at that meeting this morning. Davis not playing in the fourth had nothing to do with that, it just had to do with how we were playing with that group."

Asked if he was disappointed with not playing the final period, Davis said, "Hell, yeah. It's not my decision; I can't put myself in the game. There have been times when I go into the fourth with six points but finish with 22 points and get us back into the game. I guess he felt I didn't have it tonight."

A 21.5-point scorer, Mashburn sat out the last period with a sore right knee after netting nine points on 3-of-14 shooting.

"It was hurting before the game," he said. "I just tried to gut it through and it just didn't happen. I decided to take myself out in the second half and I'll see the doctor tomorrow."

Jamaal Magloire tied it for New Orleans at 50-50 with a basket with 5:31 left in the third quarter. However, rookie Chris Bosh's jumper started a period-ending 19-4 run which was capped by Carter's 3-pointer from mid-court that gave Toronto a 69-54 advantage.

"I've never made one (from there)," Carter said. "That was my first one."

The Hornets cut the deficit to six points several times in the fourth quarter, but the Raptors always had an answer.

Donyell Marshall had 14 and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who pulled within one-half game of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only their second win in 14 games.

Magloire, a Toronto native, finished with 23 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, but New Orleans lost for the fourth time in its last five contests. The Hornets fell to fifth place in the Eastern Conference.