Any way you slice it, this was one of the Raptors' more disappointing results of the season coming right out of the All-Star break. The Raptors managed to survive by trading scores with the Bobcats for most of the first quarter, but a late 11-2 Charlotte run fueled by Toronto turnovers put them into a six-point hole.
The giveaways continued in a second quarter that saw the Bobcats get to the free throw line with regularity and the Raptors offence go ice cold. By the time halftime hit, the deficit was 17 points and a fourth-quarter Raptors rally only served to make the final score more respectable.
A little rest may have done Bobcats point guard DJ Augustin a world of good. A left wrist injury had hampered his production heading into All-Star Weekend, but he reeled off 11 of his game-high 23 points in the first quarter and finished his night with eight assists and zero turnovers.
"He had his legs in the game and there were no problems with his hands," said Bobcats head coach Paul Silas. "He was shooting the ball exceptionally well and taking the shots, which before, he was turning them down. He really propelled us."
On a day where the Raptors acquired a new small forward in James Johnson, Sonny Weems turned in his best offensive performance in nearly ten weeks. Weems logged a game-high 37 minutes and hit an efficient nine of his 13 shots from the floor for a team-high 19 points -- his highest scoring total since Dec. 10 versus the Nuggets.
Weems scored six points in the first quarter and was equally adept during Toronto's 32-point fourth quarter that saw him add seven points, including a rare three-pointer. He committed four turnovers and didn't get to the line, but on this night, he clearly stood out for his otherwise solid play.
"We actually did a pretty good job looking after it, but we had that one spell. Twelve turnovers in the first half is way too many. You’re giving away chances for you to score and giving them opportunities to score. After that it was an uphill battle. I don’t think there was much of a difference the way both teams played in the second half."
- Jay Triano, on the turnovers
Wed., Feb. 23 vs. Bulls
7PM, Sportsnet One, FAN590
Wednesday's third matchup of the season against the Bulls should prove to be an interesting one as the Raptors tip off a four-game hoemstand. It remains uncertain if newest Raptor James Johnson will be available against his former team just one day removed from the trade. The Bulls however, are expecting to get Joakim Noah back following his recovery from thumb surgery. Noah elected to have the surgery after an 11-point, 11-rebound game vs. Toronto on Dec. 15.
|19||Bobcats points off 15 Raptors turnovers|
|22||Biggest deficit for the Raptors on Tuesday|
|11||Consecutive road losses for the Raptors, matching a franchise record|
|42-26||Free throw totals favouring the Bobcats|
|0||Field goals for Jerryd Bayless who finished with a double-double of 11 points, 10 assists|
|"It felt weird to be in the guest locker room. It felt good to be in the game and finally get some playing time here. I didn’t really have the chance to play here, so it was a really good feeling for me."|
- Alexis Ajinca on his return to Charlotte
|"They showed me tonight that they meant business yesterday in practice... They were fighting and very energized, and they came out with that same effort tonight."|
- Hornets Head Coach Paul Silas on the stretch run
|"After the five- or six-day break I was rushing and I was turning it over in the first half. But it’s not like me, it’s not like I do it all the time."|
- Jerryd Bayless, on his four turnovers