Bobcats-Raptors Preview

The Toronto Raptors look different than they did in two earlier

meetings with the Charlotte Bobcats, but they will probably see the

best of Gerald Henderson for the first time.

Henderson looks to build on the most productive game of his

career – a rare victory for the league-worst Bobcats – on Friday

night in Toronto.

These clubs have split two meetings, with both coming before the

Raptors (25-40) acquired Rudy Gay on Jan. 30. Henderson missed the

Bobcats’ 98-97 home win Nov. 21 with a foot injury and had two

points in 17 minutes off the bench in a 99-78 road defeat Jan.


Henderson has started the last 29 games, and he finished with a

career-high 35 points on 11-of-19 shooting Tuesday in a 100-74 rout

of Boston.

“I was just trying to be aggressive from the start and just

attack,” he said.

Charlotte (14-50) ended a 10-game slide with its most lopsided

victory in three seasons.

“We’ve had a tough season,” Henderson said. “The toughest thing

has been coming here every day, practicing hard and going through

shootaround and watching film and stuff and then not really

translating itself into wins, not really showing itself. So it

feels great anytime we can win.”

Henderson made all 12 of his free throws for a Charlotte team

that ranks among the best in the NBA with 25.3 attempts per game in

that department.

That could be a problem area for Toronto, which was unhappy with

the Celtics’ 35-19 advantage in free throws in Wednesday’s 112-88

loss in Boston. Sebastian Telfair was ejected at the end of the

third quarter.

“We haven’t been getting calls all year. We let frustration set

in and we can’t let that happen,” coach Dwane Casey said.

Gay scored 19 points in his return after missing a game with a

stiff back. He said the injury did not hinder him, although he made

just 7 of 19 shots.

“No matter whether you have a bad game or not, whether you lose,

you have another one coming up,” Gay said. “We have to be

professional and try to get the next one.”

Terrence Ross has scored in double figures in a season-best

three straight games after he had 13 points against the Celtics.

Fellow rookie Jonas Valanciunas had his streak of such performances

end at three – also a season high – after he scored nine.

“Both of them are trying, working at it,” Casey said. “Jonas is

learning every new situation, Terrence the same thing. Again, this

is part of the growth process.”

Toronto has lost seven of nine entering a brief homestand, which

ends Sunday with league-leading Miami in town.

“We know we’ve got Charlotte coming in,” forward Amir Johnson

said. “We know we’ve got to play better and get the next one.”

The Raptors announced before Wednesday’s game that oft-injured

Andrea Bargnani is expected to be out for the rest of the season

with an elbow injury.