A strong start put the Raps ahead 53-47 at halftime, but Charlotte used an 11-4 run out of the break to regain their first lead since early first quarter.
After roughly a dozen lead changes, Charlotte seized control with 1:20 to play. Tyrus Thomas drilled an 18-footer to break an 89-89 tie and after a Jerryd Bayless miss, Boris Diaw coverted a pass in the lane from Matt Carroll to push the lead to four. The Raptors missed four shots and turned it over twice the rest of the way.
Gerald Wallace put together a complete game against the Raptors and made his presence felt in the second half where he racked up four of his team's 13 blocks on the night. Wallace, who shook off a pretty bad collision with Linas Kleiza in the second quarter, finished with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in addition to the blocks. A strong performance in a game the Bobcats were focused on after some recent struggles.
“I think tonight was a starting point," he said. "It’s not where we want to be, but it was a starting point for us and we’ve got to build off that.”
A solid return to North Carolina for rookie Ed Davis (six points, six rebounds in 25 minutes).Davis was active on the defence with one aggressive swat immediately upon entering the game and several other shots altered with his quickness and length. Even a couple of his five fouls were strong attempts to protect the rim.
On the offensive end, Davis continued to show a nose for the ball with four offensive rebounds (inlucidng a pair of putbacks) plus some good hands after a sweet feed from Jerryd Bayless.
"We got buried inside a little bit. Kwame (Brown) and Nazr (Mohammed) got us inside the lane a little bit. I don't think our interior defence was very good. Just bigger and stronger than us, pushed us around and got to where they wanted to go."
- Jay Triano, Charlotte establishing deep post position.
Wed., Dec. 15 vs. Bulls
7:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors now must make the quick turnaround to Toronto, where the Bulls -- winners of six straight games -- await for Wednesday's matchup. It's the first of four meetings between the clubs this season and Toronto took two of three last season. Bulls guard Derrick Rose says he expects to play after suffering a sprained wrist and elbow bruise against the Pacers on Monday.
|28||Bobcats points off of 19 Raptors turnovers|
|20-11||Offensive rebounding favouring the Raptors|
|8||Fast break points for the Raptors vs. 16 for the Bobcats|
|58-34||Points in the paint favouring the Bobcats|
|11-21||Free throw shooting for the Raptors (52.4%)|
|“They (the Bobcats) made shots. They were doing a great job from a defensive standpoint and we couldn’t get an advantage on offence. We had a couple of good defences but we didn’t get an advantage off of that."|
- Leandro Barbosa, on the fourth quarter
|"Matt got two big buckets, two assists and a loose ball. He doesn’t worry about minutes. He always seems to be ready. We have to have more guys like that."|
- Bobcats head coach Larry Brown on team players
|"They wanted to post up Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace and they were definitely demanding in the post. They definitely hurt us down there."|
- Amir Johnson, on the Bobcats' establishing position