Bobcats can’t stop streaking Raptors
TORONTO (AP) Another bunch of turnovers added up to another road loss for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Chris Bosh had 33 points and 13
rebounds, Andrea Bargnani matched his season high with 28 points, and
the Toronto Raptors took advantage of 23 Charlotte turnovers to beat
the Bobcats 107-103 on Wednesday night, their season-high fifth
Marco Belinelli scored 13 points and
rookie DeMar DeRozan had 10 as Toronto avenged its worst defeat of the
season, a 116-81 loss at Charlotte on Nov. 25 – the biggest margin of
victory in Bobcats history.
“It’s always good to retaliate by
winning in the fashion that we did,” Bosh said. “We didn’t lose our
composure when they took the lead late in the game.”
Stephen Jackson scored 30 points and
Raymond Felton had 23 for the Bobcats, who are 1-14 on the road, the
second-worst mark in the NBA. Gerald Wallace had 15 points and 16
Bobcats coach Larry Brown was still fuming when he met reporters for an abbreviated postgame media session.
“The defense was pretty solid but
when you give up 30 points on turnovers on the road, it’s too big a
hill to climb,” Brown said before marching back into the locker room.
Charlotte made nine turnovers in the
first quarter, four in the second and eight more in the third. They’d
made just one in the fourth before Felton coughed the ball up trying to
drive past Bargnani inside the final minute. Antoine Wright grabbed the
loose ball and, following a timeout, Bargnani made a 3-pointer that put
the Raptors up 105-101 with 11 seconds left.
“The ball got loose, that’s all I’m going to say,” a downcast Felton said.
Center DeSagana Diop said Brown has
badgered the team about taking better care of the ball “after every
game, at halftime and after every quarter.” But while the message has
been delivered frequently, it still doesn’t seem to be getting through.
“We had some horrible turnovers,”
Wallace said. “I think we had eight in the first eight minutes of the
game. That kind of put us down. As a team, we’ve got to sit down and
look. We had 20-something turnovers for 30-something points and it
comes down to a defensive stop for us and a big shot by Bargnani that
decides the game. If you cut those turnovers in half, that’s about 25
shots that we didn’t even get.”
Toronto forward Hedo Turkoglu
bruised his right knee in the first half and did not return after the
break. He had two points and five assists in 14 minutes. Coach Jay
Triano said Turkoglu first injured his knee during Tuesday’s practice.
Turkoglu’s status for Saturday’s game at Boston is not known.
Toronto led 84-80 heading into the
fourth after Belinelli ended the third with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Belinelli grabbed the ball after Stephen Graham had his shot blocked
and raced up court before making a running jumper from the wing.
Jackson scored on three straight
possessions, including a layup, a jumper and two free throws, to make
it 96-95 with 3:53 remaining, but Belinelli made an off-balance layup
and Bosh drained a pair from the line to make it 100-95 with 3:16 to
Felton pulled the Bobcats back with
a pair of baskets, then fed Wallace for a driving layup to give
Charlotte its first lead of the quarter, 101-100, with 1:43 to play.
Bosh put Toronto back in front with
a layup and, after both teams missed, Felton made his pivotal miscue.
After Bargnani sealed it with his second 3-pointer, he turned to the
crowd and cheering as he danced back up court.
“I feel great,” Bargnani said.
“(Bosh) passed me the ball and I just shot. The play was for CB in the
low post but three guys went for him so he made a great pass to pick
the open guy. It was me this time.”
Wallace, who had jawed with
Toronto’s Amir Johnson after a foul earlier in the third, had to be
separated from Raptors guard Marcus Banks after Banks shoved Wallace to
the floor under the Toronto basket with 28 seconds left in the quarter.
After reviewing the play, the referees called personal fouls on Wallace
and Banks and technicals on Banks and Graham.
NOTES: Charlotte’s lone road win was
a 92-76 victory at Washington on Nov. 28. New Jersey (1-16) has the
worst road record in the NBA. … Brown received a technical for
arguing at the end of the second quarter. … Toronto guard Jose
Calderon, who has missed nine of the past 10 games with a sore left
hip, should return to the practice court next week, Triano said. …
Raptors forward Reggie Evans, who has yet to play this season because
of a sore left foot, had an MRI Tuesday that showed no further damage.
“He’s getting closer,” Triano said. … Bobcats center Tyson Chandler
(left foot) missed his third straight game.
Updated December 30, 2009