The Toronto Raptors have put themselves into position to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The last thing they need to do before an important road trip is slip up in Sunday's home game against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats.

Toronto (40-32) has posted victories over Southeast Division contenders Miami (39-33) and Washington (38-33) in its last two games to move ahead of both teams in the Eastern Conference standings. The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors need to finish ahead of those two clubs in order to ensure the third seed in the East, which would give them home court in at least the first round.

Toronto's magic number to clinch the Atlantic is three.

The Raptors can move closer to that goal by finishing off a three-game season sweep of Charlotte (28-45). They won the first two games by an average of 19.0 points, with All-Star forward Chris Bosh averaging 22.0 points in those contests.

Toronto badly needs to win Sunday, as it begins a critical three-game road trip Tuesday in Miami and also visits Orlando and Philadelphia.

An amazing finish to regulation gave Toronto its second straight win and fourth in five games Friday, 123-118 in overtime at Washington. Raptors guard Morris Peterson made a desperation 3-pointer from 31 feet that tied it at 109 at the fourth-quarter buzzer, hitting his shot after gathering in the ball following an ill-advised heave in the air by the Wizards' Michael Ruffin.

"When I saw (Ruffin) tip it, I looked and I saw I had a chance to get it and it turned out the ball just came to me," said Peterson, who played only the final 4.4 seconds of regulation and the last 47 seconds of overtime. "I looked at the clock real quick and there was like one second, and I just threw it up. Thankfully it went in, gave us another chance - gave us another win, and I'll take it."

Bosh took over in overtime, scoring eight of his 37 points in the extra period to power Toronto. The forward broke out of a three-game stretch in which he averaged 14.0 points by going 15-of-24 from the field Friday.

"Just wild stuff," Bosh said when asked how he could describe the ending. "I don't know, man, you've got to go to the libraries on that one. I took Mo's shot as a second chance for us. When stuff happens like that, you've got to win.

"You have to try your best and play as hard as you can because the basketball gods were looking out for us."

The Raptors have won two straight since losing forward Jorge Garbajosa for the season to an ankle injury suffered in Monday's loss at Boston. Rookie forward Andrea Bargnani is out indefinitely following an appendectomy.

Charlotte has managed to play better down the stretch, winning six of its last 10 games. Gerald Wallace scored 24 points as the Bobcats beat Milwaukee 97-81 on Friday.

The Bobcats have received some unexpected help from Argentine forward Walter Herrmann, who's averaging 15.9 points over his last nine games after playing sparingly during most of his rookie season. Herrmann scored a season-high 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting Friday, his third straight game as a starter.

"I feel like I'm playing better all the time and just continuing to work here," Herrmann said through a translator. "I'm very happy with my progress."


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