Game Rap: Raptors 106, Hornets 110
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Marvin Williams drilled Charlotte’s eighth 3-pointer in the third quarter to give the Hornets a four-point lead with 8.7 seconds remaining. After trailing by eight points after three quarters, the Hornets exploded for a 44-point fourth quarter as they picked up a 110-106 victory and snapped Toronto’s six-game winning streak.
STARTING OFF SLOW
Both teams got off to a sluggish start on Wednesday. With the Raptors shooting 40 percent and the Hornets shooting 39 percent, it was a low-scoring first quarter that saw Toronto trailing by three, 22-19, after the opening 12 minutes. Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with nine points while DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with seven. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Frank Kaminsky gave the Hornets a seven-point lead with 1:50 remaining in the quarter, but Toronto closed narrowed the gap thanks to a three-point play from Patrick Patterson and a jumper from DeRozan at the end-of-quarter buzzer.
KEEPING THE PACE
It was more of the same in the second quarter as each team scored 28 points to keep the Hornets ahead by three at the halftime break. Charlotte shot much better in the second quarter, making 48 percent if its field goals compared to 39 percent in the first, but Toronto made up the difference at the free throw line, shooting 9-for-12 from the line compared to the Hornets who took just five free throw attempts, making four. Charlotte led 50-47 at the half with Frank Kaminsky’s 12 points off the bench leading the way. DeMar DeRozan had a game-high 13 points in the first half to lead Toronto.
BUILDING A LEAD
While the Raptors came out of the locker room to shoot 40 percent in the third — the same percentage they shot through the first half — the Hornets went ice cold. After shooting 44 percent in the first half, Charlotte made just 5-of-22 field goal attempts in the third, shooting 23 percent. The Raptors outscored the Hornets 27-16 in the quarter as Jonas Valanciunas played the entire third and dominated both ends of the floor, scoring eight points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three blocks. His efforts helped the Raptors build a 74-66 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
UNABLE TO CLOSE
Despite holding the Hornets to just 16 points in the third quarter, the Raptors were unable to handle an offensive explosion from Charlotte in the fourth. The Hornets caught fire in the fourth, outscoring the Raptors 44-32 in the final frame. After shooting 8-of-22 from beyond the arc through three quarters, the Hornets could not miss from deep in the fourth, making a ridiculous 8-of-10 attempts. Marco Belinelli came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 11 points on 3-for-4 field goals, while Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams also added 11 points apiece. After a DeMar DeRozan jumper gave Toronto a two-point lead with 2:15 remaining, a 3-pointer from Kemba Walker gave the Hornets a one-point advantage and the Raptors would not lead again.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas had one of his strongest two-way performances of the season in 29 minutes. He finished with a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double as he shot 5-for-6 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Valanciunas also aded a steal and three blocked shots without a turnover. The Raptors were a +10 when Valanciunas was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan finished with a game-high 28 points on 11-for-24 field goals, but it was his all-around game that continued to lead the Raptors. DeRozan added six rebounds and a game-high eight assists as he continues to find ways to contribute beyond just his scoring total.
THAT'S A RAP…
“They were hot as fire during the fourth quarter. We go from one of our best defensive quarters, 16 points in the third to 44 in the fourth, that was the difference in the game.”
- Dwane Casey summing up the Charlotte’s fourth-quarter comeback
BY THE #'S
50... Percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Hornets (16-for-32), 36 percent shooting from deep for the Raptors (11-for-31).
30... Points in the paint scored by each team.
14... Turnovers by Toronto leading to 17 points scored by the Hornets. Charlotte turned the ball over nine times leading to 11 points for the Raptors.
22... Second chance points for Charlotte compared to just 10 for the Raptors.
52... Bench points scored for the Hornets. Toronto’s reserves had a rough night, managing just 28 points in comparison.
THEY SAID IT…
“They hit some big shots. You’ve got to give it to them. Especially, they hit 3-pointers when they needed them. Every time we scored, they came back and answered with a big shot. Before all that, we gave up entirely too many points. That was on us. You’ve got to give them credit. They hit big shots late in the game.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Charlotte’s fourth quarter
“He’s an all-star. He’s one of the best scorers in the NBA. It’s nothing new for him. He can miss 30 shots in a row and he will shoot the next one like he’s made all of them. He’s a scorer.”
- P.J. Tucker on Kemba Walker who scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter
“It didn’t all just start in the fourth quarter. Some of the mistakes we were making started at the beginning of the game and that’s what we’ve got to learn from. If we’re going to get where we want to go, those are the things we’ve got to take care of to start the game.”
- Dwane Casey on needing to have a solid effort though four quarters
The Indiana Pacers will be in Toronto on Friday for the second time in as many weeks when they face the Raptors at 7 P.M. ET.