Henderson leads Hornets to fourth straight win
TORONTO — Gerald Henderson scored a season-high 31 points, Kemba Walker added 29 and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 103-95 on Thursday night.
Walker made a jumper from just inside the 3-point line with 19.6 seconds to give the Hornets a six-point lead en route to their fourth straight victory. The point guard also had assists and seven rebounds.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Kyle Lowry led Toronto, coming off a six-game trip, with 24 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Lou Williams added 15 points, and Greivis Vasquez had 11.
Toronto cut it to 99-95 with 42.3 seconds remaining on Patrick Patterson’s tip-in, but couldn’t get any closer. The Raptors extended their season-worst losing streak to four games.
After Lowry trimmed it to 87-84 with 4:47 remaining on an off-balance layup, Charlotte responded by scoring six straight points to take a seven-point lead with 3:21 left.
Vasquez hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth and the Raptors scored seven consecutive points to cut Charlotte’s lead to two points before the team resettled after a timeout.
The Hornets held the Raptors to 14 points in the third quarter to take a 75-66 lead.
Charlotte came out of the half strong, using an 8-1 run to take 58-53 advantage, prompting Raptors head coach Dwane Casey to call a timeout. The timeout did little to help, as Henderson made a layup with 7:18 remaining in the quarter to give the Hornets an 11-point lead, their biggest of the game and first double-digit advantage since the closing moments of the first quarter.
Charlotte, on the second night of a back-to-back, came out firing, shooting 50 percent from the field to take a 31-23 lead into the second quarter. Walker powered the Hornets with eight points, five rebounds and four assists a night after his third consecutive 30-point game.