Game Rap: Raptors 113, Hornets 111
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Norman Powell and Cory Joseph drilled four free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal a wild 113-111 road win for the Raptors to improve their record to 6-2 on the season.
SMOOTH SAILING FIRST HALF
Unlike their come from behind victory in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, the Raptors got off to a solid start in Charlotte and held a 58-44 lead at the half. The Raptors shot 48 percent in the first half while holding the Hornets to 31 percent shooting despite a 21-point first half effort from Kemba Walker.
SUB-OPTIMAL THIRD QUARTER
The game flipped in the third quarter as Walker and Nicolas Batum combined to score 24 points and the Hornets outscored the Raptors 38-21. Toronto shot just 38 percent in the quarter, while the Hornets connected on 68 percent of their attempts. Charlotte made 6-of-9 three-pointers, with the Raptors missing all five of their attempts from deep in the third and Toronto went into the fourth trailing by three.
The Raptors quickly found themselves trailing by 10 in the final frame, but they remained calm. Dwane Casey went to Norman Powell for defence and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan went to work. Toronto shot 59 percent in the fourth, while clamping down defensively in the second half of the quarter to prevent Charlotte from pulling away. A flurry from DeRozan helped Toronto to build its lead and secure the win.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan continues his ridiculously hot start to this NBA season. Another game, another 30-point performance, another night in the record books alongside Michael Jordan. On Friday, DeRozan became the first player since Jordan in 1986-87 to have seven 30-point performances in the first eight games of a season. DeRozan finished with 34 points on 14-for-26 shooting, including 6-for-7 from the free throw line. He added three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes of action.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry had his all-around game going, scoring 19 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and zero turnovers. Lowry was the team’s leading rebounder in a game where they desperately needed help on the boards. Lowry is averaging 7.3 rebounds over his last four games, an impressive feat for the point guard.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We knew they were going to make a run. We were on their home floor. They’ve been playing extremely well all season. We know it was going to be tough. Sometimes it’s harder to play with a lead. They got going, we stayed disciplined and executed when we needed to.”
- DeMar DeRozan on sticking to the game plan and staying calm in the fourth quarter
BY THE #’S
12…Points, eight rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot for Jonas Valanciunas who returned after missing the previous two games with a left knee contusion. Terrence Ross also returned after missing the previous game with a sprained index finger. Ross contributed eight points off the bench.
10…The Raptors were a +10 in the nearly 10 minutes that Norman Powell was on the floor in the fourth quarter as the team made its comeback.
17…Three-pointers for the Hornets on 41 attempts. In comparison the Raptors made just six three-pointers on 22 attempts.
96…Percent shooting from the free throw line for Toronto (21-for-22), 75 percent for Charlotte (18-for-24).
50…Points in the paint for the Raptors, 32 for the Hornets.
57…Rebounds for Charlotte, 45 for the Raptors. Charlotte also held an 18-8 edge on the offensive glass.
THEY SAID IT…
“I thought our bench came in and gave us a big lift off the bench. [Patrick] Patterson was a +11, [Lucas] Nogueira was a +12 and Norman [Powell] was a +10. That kind of production off the bench was huge.”
- Dwane Casey on the boost from the bench
“Win. Win. Just win. As long as I know I'm out there trying to do whatever I have to do to win, I’m fine with that. That’s just my mentality.”
- DeMar DeRozan on his approach when he comes back into the game with his team down five in the fourth
“We started off well, we made a lot of threes, played really good defence and played with force, that third quarter, they scored 38 and they played with force. The fourth quarter, we chipped away, chipped away and we found that extra gear at the end of the game.”
- Kyle Lowry on three phases of the game
The Raptors return to Toronto as the Huskies, to take on the New York Knicks on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre at 7:30 P.M. ET.