Despite a big game from Kemba Walker, the Toronto Raptors were able to snap the Charlotte Hornets’ four-game winning streak.
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The Charlotte Hornets (6-2) were defeated by the Toronto Raptors (6-2) in a heated battle that featured multiple runs from both sides. The back and fourth game were led by Kemba Walker and DeMar DeRozan who both had outstanding performances. Toronto put an end to the Hornets’ four-game win streak.
Charlotte came into the game without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (sore lower back) and Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) but Roy Hibbert did return to the team. The loss of MKG would prove costly in this one as the Hornets’ best perimeter defender wouldn’t be able to guard DeRozan. Instead, the team was forced to start a rookie in Treveon Graham at the small forward spot.
This was the final game of the Hornets’ current three-game homestand. They are now only 3-2 at the Spectrum Center this season. This was Charlotte’s toughest opponent to date as many predict the Raptors to be a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference. Without MKG, the Hornets held their own against the tough opponent.
Once again, the Charlotte Hornets struggled in the first half as they trailed by 15 points at halftime. They have made a trend of second-half comebacks and this game was no different. Charlotte was able to outscore Toronto 38-21 in the third period as they continue to be one of the highest scoring teams in the third quarter in the NBA. Unfortunately, the home team was not able to keep up the performance in the fourth as the Raptors out-battled the Hornets 34-29 in the final period.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets once again with a season-high 40 points to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists. Nicolas Batum had one of his best games of the year with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Cody Zeller had a near double-double with 12 points and seven rebounds on the night. Marvin Williams had a rough first half but he recorded his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan who scored 34 points as the league’s leading scorer continues to put big numbers up each game. Kyle Lowry had an all-around performance with 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in this one. Cory Joseph and Jonas Valanciunas each added 12 points.
The Hornets grabbed 18 offensive rebounds in this one.
Charlotte committed an uncharacteristic 11 turnovers.
Roy Hibbert scored 10 points in only 13 minutes.
The Hornets shot (38-93) 40.9% from the field and (17-41) 41.5% from the three-point line.
Charlotte’s now 0-1 against the Raptors this season. The two sides will meet three more times this year with the next game coming on January 20th, 2017. They will be looking to get one back against Toronto next time out.
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In their next game, the Charlotte Hornets will take on the defending NBA Champions. They will travel to Ohio to battle it out against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It will be their first meeting against LeBron James as they look to bounce back from this disappointing loss.