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Raptors Drop Fourth Straight With Home Loss To Bobcats

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Post Game: Highlights | Casey | DeRozan | Davis | Calderon

February 17, 2012

TORONTO (CP) The Toronto Raptors lost their fourth close game in a row, but this time it came against a team they were expected to beat.

Reggie Williams scored a season-high 22 points and the Charlotte Bobcats ended a 16-game losing streak with a 98-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

``It feels great,'' Bobcats forward Corey Maggette said. ``The last 16 times we have come to the locker-room with our heads down. It's good to see our guys continue to work, stay positive and come out with a win.''

The Bobcats weren't supposed to be as challenging as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jeremy-Lin led New York Knicks or the San Antonio Spurs, all teams the Raptors held close in their three previous games.

As a result, the Raptors may have taken the struggling Bobcats lightly. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said his team showed a lack of focus early in the game even though Toronto led 23-22 after the first quarter.

``Totally disappointed in our focus, Casey said. ''The lack of transition defence, lack of guarding your yard and one-on-one situations. We didn't think it was really going to be an offensive battle.``

Corey Maggette and Kemba Walker each scored 14 for Charlotte while D.J. Augustin scored 11 points and had 10 assists. Bismack Biyombo chipped in a career-high 13 rebounds for the Bobcats, whose last win was Jan. 14 when they beat Golden State 112-100.

``It was just wonderful to win,'' Bobcats head coach Paul Silas said. ``I think the bench came in and really gave us a lift.''

  RAPTORS REMARKS

"One thing, win, lose or draw, one thing we have to do is establish a culture, maintain a culture and just because you talk about it, doesn’t mean it is going to stay that way."
-- Dwane Casey, on a lack on intensity
"For me it doesn’t matter. Every time you lose its tough and I don’t like it. We’ve got to get better at it, we have four days to get better and we’ll try to get a win against Detroit before the All-Star break."
-- Jose Calderon, on losing to Charlotte
"If you look at the record yes, this is a game we should have had and we definitely need the next one going into the All Star break. We need to be able to close out games moving forward."
-- DeMar DeRozan, on the loss

Charlotte shot 50 per cent from the field while Toronto hit on 41.7 per cent.

``It cannot happen,'' Toronto point guard Jose Calderon said. ``We cannot just can't come out here at home and be flat like that.''

DeMar DeRozan's 24 points led the Raptors in their fourth loss in a row.

Leandro Barbosa provided 16 points off the bench for Toronto while Calderon and James Johnson added 14 each. Calderon dished out eight assists.

``We did not play very well,'' Calderon said. ``We have to play good against every team. Sometimes we're just flat out there and that's what happened. When they started making shots it was tough for us.

``I don't like it. We have to get better at it. We have four days to get better at it and try to get a win against Detroit and go into the all-star break.''

After the Raptors pulled to within 92-90 a Toronto turnover led to Boris Diaw hitting a 12-foot jumper with 42.9 seconds left.

DeRozan cut the lead to three with a free throw but DJ White put in a layup with 15.8 seconds left to put the Raptors behind by five.

  BY THE NUMBERS

1-5 Raptors record on their current 7-game homestand
5 Consecutive losses for the Raptors against the Bobcats
0-8 Raptors record this season when trailing at halftime
.214 Raptors 3-point percentage over their last three games
15 Season and game-high in rebounds for Amir Johnson

Barbosa hit two quick field goals to cut the lead to 87-84 before Amir Johnson stuffed in a rebound to make it a one-point game with 3:57 to play.

The Raptors led 69-68 after three quarters, despite having DeRozan on the bench with foul trouble most of the quarter and trailing by three with 6:24 to play in the third.

``It's always frustrating going to the bench for foul trouble,'' DeRozan said. ``It throws your rhythm off. You're not out there and it's frustrating but you have to stay focused.''

Williams had already reached his season high with 22 after hitting a pair of three-pointers early in the third quarter to put Charlotte into a six-point lead.

The Bobcats went from being down five points to going up by five during the second quarter, then leading 47-45 at the half. Williams was held to two in the second quarter but finished the half with 16.

``Win, lose or draw, one thing we have to do is establish a culture, maintain a culture and just because you talk about it, it doesn't mean it's going to stay that way,'' Casey said.

DeRozan led all scorers in the first half with 18 points.

The Raptors led 23-22 after the first quarter when Calderon made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left. DeRozan led the Raptors with 13 first-quarter points.

Notes: Attendance at Air Canada Centre was 15,575. ......In addition to being without their leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf), the Raptors were without forward Linas Kleiza (sore left knee). ....The Bobcats were without guard Gerald Henderson (strained right hamstring). ...Jerryd Bayless who had not played since Feb. 8 because of a sore left ankle entered the game Friday to start the second quarter. ... Williams previous season high was 21, which he accomplished twice.