The Toronto Raptors hope the return home will get them back on track, as they host Charlotte Hornets as they visit the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors were on a three-game losing streak after a 2-4 road trip, they started the sojourn with a loss in Chicago, then the Clippers and Denver Nuggets.
Since, the Raptors fell in Portland, Golden State and Phoenix. During the slide, the Raptors allowed an average of 113.6 ppg and slipped 2 ½ games behind the scoring-hot Atlanta Hawks for Eastern Conference supremacy.
The Raptors had every chance to correct things. They haven’t played since Sunday’s loss to Phoenix and have the next six at home and five of those teams have losing records. I have heard all kind of things to why they may have been slipping. The best one was “Raptors play shit because DeRozan is injured”…wow hold on a second, the stats may show that they do in fact play differently without him, but a team does not fall apart due to one missing player. The Media in Toronto (and the bandwagon fans) need to calm down a bit.
As a results in tonight’s game, I have hoped for a win but the Raptors ended the score with a final of 95-103 vs. Charlotte Hornet.
Turns out, homecourt isn't always accommodating.
Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, but it wasn't enough to carry the Raptors, who dropped a 103-95 decision to the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday for their fourth loss in a row.
Lou Williams finished with 15 points and just 4-for-15 shooting for Toronto (24-11), while Greivis Vasquez had 11 points and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 10.
Gerald Henderson scored 31 points to top the Hornets (14-24) in their fourth straight victory. Kemba Walker added 29.
As coach Dwane Casey said prior to tipoff, ``Home won't take care of you, you've got to take care of home,'' and it was the Hornets that led for most of the night in front of another ACC sellout crowd of 19,800.
Charlotte was up by as much as 15 before taking a 75-66 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Raptors, who've now lost five in a row to the Hornets, opened the fourth with a 7-0 run to pull within two points. But that was as close as they would come, as the Charlotte answered virtually every Toronto basket the rest of the way.
A three-pointer by Walker 1:55 left to play put the Hornets up by 10 and sent many fans for the exits. But the Raptors rallied and a Patrick Patterson basket with 42 seconds to play pulled the Raptors to within four points, breathing some life into Toronto's hopes for a victory.
But Walker snuffed that out with a long jumper that put Charlotte back up by six with 19 seconds to play, and sealed Toronto's fate.
The Hornets shot 48 per cent on the night to Toronto's 40 per cent, and outrebounded the Raptors 46-42.
Charlotte's starters also outscored Toronto's by a whopping 89-46 margin.
Toronto played its 19th game without all-star DeMar DeRozan, who had hoped to play Thursday, but instead is now targeting next week for his return. The Raptors are playing it safe with DeRozan, who is out with a torn groin tendon.
``When the medical people say he can come back, he'll come back,'' Casey said prior to tipoff. ``His career is more important. . . I've seen two or three players in my time in the NBA lose their careers on a similar injury, by rushing back too quick. It's going to be up to the medical people and up to DeMar when he does come back.''
Long story short. We lost.
Toronto is home to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, then hosts Detroit, Philadelphia, and Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta, before capping its homestand Jan. 18 versus New Orleans.