TORONTO, Jan. 23 (Ticker) --
Even though he doesn't like it, Jalen Rose
may be finding a home on the bench. As a result, the Toronto
Raptors are turning into one of the best home teams in the
Rose keyed a fourth-quarter comeback with 14 of his 22 points as
the Toronto Raptors recorded a 103-92 victory over the
Charlotte Bobcats, who have lost eight straight games.
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Toronto has won 10 of its last 11 games at the Air Canada Centre
to improve to 15-5 at home, matching Miami and Washington for
the most home wins in the Eastern Conference.
Rose, who has expressed his displeasure at coming off the bench,
scored a season-high 32 points against Washington on Friday and
is averaging just under 22 points on 50 percent (47-of-94)
shooting in his last six contests. He is averaging 11.2 points
in the fourth quarter over that span.
"Jalen is going to be Jalen," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said.
"He is always going to talk about starting and I understand
that. But his role with us in the last 14 of 15 games, the way
he has been playing and the firepower that he gives us is coming
off the bench. We got a guy we can put the ball in his hands
in the second half, fourth quarter, last five minutes of a game
and he is making plays and making teammates better and he should
be commended for that.
"One thing I know with Jalen is he can score the basketball. Our
main thing is giving him the ball in the right spot. I say this
all the time and I say it to Jalen, I just got one rule with
him, when he gets trapped, pass the ball, because he is an
Charlotte led, 83-77, with 11:22 to play before Rose scored 12
points during a 17-2 run to give Toronto a 94-85 lead with 6:09
remaining. Rose started the run with a 3-pointer and
shot from the arc with 9:34 left gave the Raptors the
lead for good at 85-83. Rose capped the run with a pair of
"We are just trying to close out the game strong," Rose said. "I
was drafted by (Charlotte coach) Bernie Bickerstaff and I
played for him (in Denver) so I know what he is preaching to his
guys, which is to play hard and compete."
"I think we scored 12 points in the fourth quarter," Bickerstaff
said. "I thought we had some good looks, we're floating along
shooting 50 percent, 90 percent from the free-throw line, and
then in the fourth quarter they didn't drop."
Toronto's defense also played a key role in this one. After
allowing Charlotte to shoot 55 percent (21-of-38) and score 59
points in the first half, the Bobcats were limited to just 33
points on 26 percent (14-of-53) shooting after the break.
"I thought our guys got into the game in the second half,"
Mitchell said. "They just picked it up and I think they
realized that that's a good basketball team and forget their
record, those guys compete and play hard."
Rose finished 8-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from the
scored 26 points and hit 4-of-7 3-pointers for
Toronto. He was 6-of-6 from the line and has made 33 straight
"That fourth quarter was big," Peterson said. "Once again, Mr.
Clutch (Rose) came through for us and provided some big plays."
added 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocks as
the Raptors won for the eighth time in their last 11 outings and
improved to 10-0 when Bosh scores 20 or more.
scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half as
the Bobcats took a 59-53 lead. He added 12 rebounds.
"We just couldn't get it done and I can't remember how many
games we've lost in the fourth quarter during the last couple of
minutes," Brezec said. "It's easy to say it's a learning
experience, but on the other hand it hurts. We have to continue
to play hard and get some wins."
Rookie Emeka Okafor
was held to nine points on 4-of-16 shooting
for Charlotte, which dropped to 1-17 on the road.