Precious little has gone right for the Toronto Raptors at
For the Charlotte Bobcats, the positives have been fewer and
further between regardless of venue as they head into Friday
night’s game at Air Canada Centre trying to snap a franchise-record
16-game losing streak.
Charlotte (3-26) is winless since beating Golden State 112-100
on Jan. 14, and its 10 road losses during the skid have come by an
average of 16.2 points. The most recent defeat there came Wednesday
night, a 102-90 loss to Minnesota in which the Bobcats allowed 54
points in the paint while the Timberwolves shot 50.6 percent.
“Some nights it’s embarrassing, especially when we lose by a
lot,” rookie Kemba Walker said. “No one likes to lose by that many
Walker, the ninth overall pick, is third on the team with 13.1
points per game. D.J. Augustin – averaging 13.4 points – had nine
off the bench in his first action after missing 11 games with an
inflamed big toe. The Bobcats, however, are still without injured
swingman Gerald Henderson, who leads the team with 15.0 points per
A loss would make the Bobcats the 28th team in NBA history to
drop at least 17 straight games, though they are still quite a
distance from Cleveland’s league-record 26-game skid from last
“Everybody wants to make history but you don’t want to make
history that way,” guard Matt Carroll said. “You don’t want to be
The Raptors, though, may be that team the Bobcats want to play.
Charlotte won all four meetings last season, with Augustin
averaging 18.5 points and 6.3 assists while committing just three
Toronto (9-22) is 1-4 on its current seven-game homestand and
4-10 there overall, having dropped the last three. Having been
overwhelmed by Linsanity in losing on a last-second 3-pointer
Tuesday by the New York Knicks guard, the Raptors had no answer for
another star point guard the following night when Tony Parker had
34 points and 14 assists in Toronto’s 113-106 loss.
One of the problems for the Raptors has been finding healthy
quality players. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani – averaging 23.5
points – likely will miss his 19th game in the last 21 with a
strained left calf, while Jerryd Bayless (ankle) and Linas Kleiza
(knee) – both scoring in double figures at 11.3 and 10.7 points per
game, respectively – are questionable for this game.
There were positives in Wednesday’s loss, however. DeMar DeRozan
scored a season-high 29 points, and Toronto’s shortened bench
contributed 45 as Rasual Butler, Ed Davis and Anthony Carter all
reached double figures.
“Our bench did a great job,” coach Dwane Casey said. “Everyone
that came in competed and played hard. Now, we have to find a
closing group to close the game. And it goes back to being
Despite the spate of injuries, Toronto’s offense has functioned
well, shooting at least 47.4 percent during the three-game skid.
The Raptors, though, have been outscored 55-30 at the foul line in