Game Rap: Raptors 78, Hornets 113
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The Raptors went into the fourth quarter trailing by 25 points and didn’t get any closer as the Charlotte Hornets handed Toronto a 113-78 loss to close out a three-game road trip.
The Raptors remained undermanned in Charlotte with Patrick Patterson missing his ninth game in the team’s previous 11 contests because of a sore knee. Lucas Nogueira was out for his second consecutive game because of the NBA concussion protocol after taking a shot to the head in Toronto’s victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. On the flip side, sophomore point guard Delon Wright was active for the first time this season following shoulder surgery during the offseason.
A STRUGGLE FROM THE START
Things were difficult from the jump for the Raptors on Friday. Offensively, the team couldn’t get shots to fall and this remained the story throughout the game. The Raptors shot just 32 percent from the floor in the opening quarter to Charlotte’s 50 percent shooting and the Hornets led by eight after the opening 12 minutes. Things improved briefly for Toronto in the second quarter when they outscored the Hornets 30-29 to trim the deficit to seven points at the halftime break. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined to score 23 of Toronto’s 30 points in the quarter, but the Raptors couldn’t close the quarter well, allowing the Hornets to close the half on a 10-4 run.
NIGHTMARE SECOND HALF
Any hope of coming out of the halftime break and flipping the switch to take control of the game died early in the third quarter. Toronto shot just 33 percent, giving up 57 percent shooting to a Charlotte team that outscored the Raptors 33-15 in the quarter to lead by 25 points heading into the fourth. Kemba Walker scored 16 points in the third to outscore the Raptors by himself. It was more of the same in the fourth, with Charlotte outscoring Toronto 25-15 to roll to the dominant 113-78 victory as Toronto scored just 30 points in the second half.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
There wasn’t a lot to write home about for Toronto on Friday. Although DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined to score 47 points, the team struggled as a whole from the floor, shooting just 34 percent for the game and 23 percent from the three-point line.
THAT'S A RAP…
“It’s a long season. [There’s] nothing wrong with a little adversity at some point as long as you learn from it. We just got to be conscious of it and learn from it and come back out of it better.”
- DeMar DeRozan on using bad nights are learning lessons
BY THE #’S
30…Points scored in the second half by Toronto, 58 for Charlotte.
51…Rebounds for the Hornets, just 33 for the Raptors.
24…Assists for Charlotte compared to just 10 for Toronto.
48…Percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Hornets who connected on 12-of-25 three-point attempts.
32…Points, four rebounds, eight assists for Kemba Walker who shot 11-for-16 from the floor, 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and 4-for-5 from the free throw line in 29 minutes.
THEY SAID IT…
“It happens. No one is feeling sorry for us. We’re watching film tomorrow, practice, and get ready for Phoenix on Sunday.”
- Kyle Lowry on leaving the loss in Charlotte
“It was one of those things. We are going through something right now, our rhythm on both ends of the floor, offensively, defensively. We took some tough shots early, kind of got us in a rut and just kept on spiralling. It goes back to our defence. If you don’t get stops when your offence is not rolling the way you want it to, you’re in trouble. Then when we did get stops, we didn’t come up with the rebound. We got outrebounded by 18 and you can’t be successful… You’re going to have nights like that when you can’t get it to fall.”
- Dwane Casey summing up a rough night on both ends from his team
“We’ve been in a little funk lately. I don’t know. We’re not playing on all cylinders right now. I think it’s that time of the year. No excuses at all. Mental fatigue, a little bit of travel fatigue, but there are no excuses. I think maybe around the same time last year we did this, maybe? I’m not sure, but it happens. As a team we’ll figure a way out of it. We’re playing some teams that are hungry right now and teams that are playing well. Tonight Charlotte played extremely well and Kemba [Walker] played his usual game and [Nic] Batum and those guys, they all did a good job tonight and our shots just didn’t fall.”
- Kyle Lowry on a rough shooting night against a hungry opponent
“They got hot. It seemed like all the guys on the floor for them were hitting big shots. They caught a rhythm and they ran away with it.”
- DeMar DeRozan summing up the game
The Raptors are back in Toronto to take on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre at 6 PM. E.T.