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Bargnani's Three-Pointer Lifts Raptors To Fifth Straight Win
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BOX 

SCORE RECAP PHOTOS VIDEOS
FINAL SCORE
Bobcats 103 107 Raptors
Jay Satur
December 30, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
IT 

WAS OVER WHEN...

It wasn't over until Andrea Bargnani's dagger three with 10 seconds to play in the game. Chris Bosh, who already had 10 points in the quarter, drew multiple defenders on his move to the basket and kicked out to an open Bargnani behind the arc who drained it and finally seized control of the game for good.

Antoine Wright deserves a ton of credit for giving the Raps that crucial possession. On Charlotte's previous trip down the floor, Wright hit the deck with Raymond Felton to scrap for a loose ball, corralled it and wisely called time out.

THE 

GAME CHANGER

With Hedo Turkoglu forced out of the game at halftime with a knee contusion, the Raptors needed big games from the Bosh and Bargnani and the frontcourt duo delivered. They put Boris Diaw and Nazr Mohammed in early foul trouble and really took advantage of the smaller Bobcats lineup the rest of the way.

They combined for 61 points (22-40 fgm-a) went a perfect 15-15 from the line and hauled in 17 rebounds (nine offensive). They were also huge in crunch time as they scored 19 of the Raptors' 23 fourth-quarter points and teamed up for decisive play of the game.

THE UNDERRATED RAPTOR

It was an uneven night offensively for Marco Belinelli, who finished with 13 points on just three made field goals. But Belinelli was brilliant in the third, scoring nine of the team's final 11 points, setting up Bargnani for the other two points and adding two key steals.

He punctuated it dribbling the length of the court and drilling a running three at the buzzer that energized the crowd and really seemed to swing momentum back to the Raptors entering the fourth quarter.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Another tough road loss for the Bobcats, who seemed on track to win this one if they had just taken care of the ball a little more effectively. Charlotte allowed 33 points on 23 turnovers compared to just 15 points allowed on 11 turnovers for Toronto.

The Bobcats were shooting well in the first quarter, but nine turnovers put them in an early hole. None proved more costly for Charlotte however, than Wright's strip of Felton with 30 seconds to play and the Raps up just 102-101.

THAT'S A RAP

"We called our 15-lift. We expected to get CB (Chris Bosh) rolling down the lane with Andrea (Bargnani) out. We were going to take the other big out and we expected to get CB with a mismatch rolling down with four perimeter guys on the outside. When two guys went to the ball when CB had it we were equally spaced and it was a matter of who was going to get it. I thought Jarrett (Jack) did a good job swinging and Andrea has the option to either shoot it or swing it to the corner. I like the fact that he shot it."

- Jay Triano on the final play.

3-GAME OUTLOOK

Sat., Jan. 2 @ Boston
7:30 PM ET (TSN2, FAN 590)

GAME NOTES:
Hard to believe that it was just about a month ago that the Raptors were reeling and searching for answers after the Celtics pinned a 116-103 loss on them in Boston as part of a brutal five-game losing skid. The Raptors now hit Beantown on a five-game upswing, while its the Celtics who may be on their heels a little. Boston has lost three straight games, largely due to the absence of Paul Pierce (knee) and Kevin Garnett (knee) and both are questionable for Saturday.

By 

The Numbers
9 Number of wins for the Raptors in December, a franchise record
4 Number of Raptors games this season decided by a margin of victory/defeat of four points or less
39 Fast break points for the Raptors, a season-high
39 Number of points needed by Chris Bosh to tie the Raptors all-time scoring record (Vince Carter - 9,420)
28 Number of points for Andrea Bargnani, trying a season-high
They Said It...
Andrea Bargnani "The play was for CB in the low post, but three guys went for him so he made a great pass to pick the open guy. It was me this time."- Andrea Bargnani on his big three-pointer.
Antoine Wright "I just saw the ball coming loose and at times like that you don't have any time to react so I just tried to get to it, dive on it and call a timeout. It's one of those plays that's the difference between winning and losing." Antoine Wright, on his key defensive play.
Larry Brown "We didnt take care of the ball. One point down, we dont run something on the missed shot. We turn it over. One point down, we turn it over in a critical situation without running anything." - Bobcats head coach Larry Brown as part of his brief post-game statement.
Fantasy Alert
SEASON STATS
23.5 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 1.8 APG

Notes: Fantastic night from Chris Bosh, who was efficient with 33 points (11-20 fgm-a, 11-11 ftm-a) and 13 rebounds for his 24th double-double of the season. He also added two steals, two assists and a block.
SEASON STATS
18.0 PPG, 4,6 RPG, 3.8 APG

Notes: You got some good and some bad with Stephen Jackson if he's in your lineup tonight. The 30 points with three treys and five assists was great. The game-high seven TO's might prove costly if that's a category in your league.