Charlotte Upset Toronto At The Last Minute, Defeat Raptors 99-96
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, February 28, 2020
Terry Rozier’s last free throws led the Charlotte Hornets to a 99-96 victory over Toronto on Friday night at the Scotiabank Arena.
The Hornets outplayed the Raptors, and they took an 11-point lead in the first half. Charlotte played tight defense and outrebounded Toronto 35-25. They played aggressively on both ends of the floor.
Hornets executed the ball efficiently with ball movement to create open shots. They were shooting 43.6% from the field, and 38.5% from the 3-point field, before the second half.
However, Toronto struggled to get their shot going. They made 6 shots on 25 attempts from the 3-point line.
Norman Powell got his three-point shot going earlier in the game, but after his second-three, the Raptors weren’t taking open shots.
It would last long for the Hornets with the lead, and the Raptors came battling their way through in the third quarter, and Pascal Siakam scored 14 points to give Toronto a chance to come back in the fourth quarter.
It was the only quarter that they won, and only by four points, and with a 7-point game, it was a matter of time to define who was going to take the win away.
Raptors felt shorthanded with the absence of their key players. With no Paul Gasol, Fred VanVleet, and Serge Ibaka on the lineup, OG Anunoby and Powell had to combine with 38 pts.
Powell hit a three to give the Raptors the lead 82 to 80.
Next possession, Hornets took the ball and passed it around until Miles Bridges in the right corner hit a three, right in front of the Toronto Raptors’ coach, Nick Nurse, to give the lead back to Charlotte in a 1-point difference.
Hornets were holding up with 5 minutes remained and up by three to end the game.
Siakam drives the ball and decided to post up, came back to the free-throw line and hit a jump shot to close the gap to one point.
With 2:50 on the clock, Kyle Lowry hit a 3-point shot and led the Raptors once again with a one-point lead
Rozier got other plans, and the next possession hit a three, 92-90 for Charlotte.
The Hornets got a free throw to extend the lead.
Lowry put the team on his back, and Lowry hit another three and went in to tie the game 93-93.
Lowry got the last 9 points for the Raptors.
Lowry drives the basket to do a layup and be up by two. Miles got the ball on the other end of the floor and decided to hit a three right in Lowry’s face to tie the game.
With a minute to play in the fourth quarter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson committed a foul before the inbound pass. Rozier went to the free-throw line and made the throw.
2.1 seconds left on the clock and the Raptors fouled Rozier, so they can have the last shot. Rozier shot the free throws and made both of them. Hornets were up by three.
Nick Nurse called the last play with 1.2 seconds to play.
Lowry inbounded the ball to Powell, who took the shot, but it didn’t go in.
A tough loss for the defending champions against the Hornets.
The Raptors will face Denver Nuggets on Sunday Night in a 5-game road trip.