Overtime was needed in an ugly road win for the Raptors

Harley Kock
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Final Score, Toronto Raptors 112 - Charlotte Hornets 110

Charlotte, NC - Charlotte had lost seven of their last nine coming in. Terence Davis got his first NBA start after playing just 8 minutes last game when Nurse said “He probably played five to many.” Davis is the only Raptor to have played in every game this season. He stepped up leading the Raptors with 23 points in a 112-110 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. The Raptors defence was heavily leaned on forcing 17 turnovers. McCaw played a team high 43 minutes and led the Raptors with 11 assists.


Early on the Raptors offence was really struggling to find any flow. Kyle Lowry did make a great play finding Patrick McCaw for wide-open jump shot. Overall the Raptors were sloppy and that would be a theme.


The Hornets seemed fired up early and went on an 11-0 run for a 15-6 lead. That was capped off by Devonte' Graham who hit a nice step-back three. No timeout called by the Raptors as Nurse was going to let them play through it.


Next play Davis hit a three of his own. Last game he went 0 for 2 for zero points. Davis had registered a field goal in eight straight before the loss versus Portland. Through six minutes the Raptors trailed the Hornets 17-12.


Davis was making the most of his opportunity. Nurse put him off-ball and he took that chance to score. He drove right to the rim for a huge dunk. Then he got the Raptors a lead with another three making it 20-19. Davis led the Raptors with 13 points after the first quarter.


First Raptor timeout came after two straight Hornets scores, one on a highlight-reel dunk by Malik Monk and a wide-open three by Miles Bridges. With three minutes left, Raps down 24-23.


It was back and forth quarter before ending with Charlotte leading 31-29. 


The second started like the first ended, very tightly contested. A Matt Thomas’ three tied the game at 39. Scary Terry Rozier came right back with back-to-back threes putting the Hornets up six. 


It was raining triples!


Chris Boucher and Matt Thomas both made shots from deep tying the game back up at 45. Unfortunately for the Raptors a 6-0 run by the Hornets prompted another Nurse timeout.


It was clearly the right call because a 10-0 Raptors run ensued. With 2:45 left in the second quarter they had a slight 4 point lead. OG Anunoby who started at the four spot capped off that run with a big dunk. He was 3 for 5 with 7 points in the first half.


McCaw was the recipient of multiple great passes from Lowry and delivered. A nice back cut fooled the defence and he layed in the alley oop pass. McCaw was second on the Raptors in points with 11 after 24 minutes. 


Lowry closed the second quarter with a classic power move getting right to the rim. The half ended with the Raptors up 60-55. Miles Bridges was already over his season average with 17 points on an outstanding 5 for 6 from three. Charlotte shot 55.9 percent but had 11 turnovers to the Raptors just 3. 


The second half started with Bridges scoring the first seven points for the Hornets. He also made a nice pass to Bismack Biyombo but he was turned away by Serge Ibaka at the rim. On the other end Ibaka was rewarded with a wide-open three ball that he drilled.


Davis after an excellent first half missed three straight shots to start the third.




He was making plays. Anunoby with a good cut to the rim and Davis threw a lob pass right on target for his third assist. Then he made his first bucket of the half as the Raptors were pulling away, up 71-64 just over halfway through the third.


The Raptor defense turned up the intensity. Toronto was playing very aggressive and trapping screens. It seemed to frustrate Charlotte as they were now shooting under 50 percent from the floor. 


Offensive rebounds were now the issue. With so many misses Charlotte grabbed seven of their own threw three quarters. With 2:44 remaining in the third the Raptors held a 80-72 lead. 


A rare challenge by James Borrego. Cody Zeller was called for pushing Boucher under the basket when he was trying to contest Bridges at the rim. It was a quick review as it was a clear foul.


McCaw got caught doing too much. He was out on the break and had numbers with him but tried to go behind the back resulting in a turnover. Malik Monk went straight to the basket and made the layup plus the foul. 


A brutal closeout to the quarter. Boucher fouled Zeller boxing out on a free throw and was talking to him. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put up a rare three and airballed it. They looked discombobulated resulting in a 9-2 Charlotte run to close the quarter. Toronto still held a slight 82-81 lead going into the final 12 minutes. Ibaka was struggling with nine points on nine shots.


The offence dried up in the fourth. Hornets started on a 7-0 run while the Raptors were looking lost. Lowry was being trapped and Charlotte was doing a great job recovering when he swung the ball resulting in contested shots. Nurse called a timeout.


A lone Ibaka putback was Toronto's only points in the first 6 minutes. The Hornets were struggling offensively as well but still grinded their way to a 94-84 lead. 


The Raptors finally made another shot. Anunoby with a corner three and he was now tied with Davis leading the team with 17 points. All starters were in double figures with 4:40 remaining in the game and all were on the floor to close it out.


That propelled the Raptors to a 7-0 run to cut the lead to just one. Hornets still held a 95-94 lead with under three minutes left.


Davis made a great pass to Ibaka who missed the first attempt but got his own rebound and put it back in. A career best seventh consecutive double double for Ibaka. He finished with 23 points and 11 assists.


Lowry got the Raptors a lead. He had Biyombo switch on him and went to work. Lowry put him on skates and layed it in for a 100-99 lead with just 17 seconds on the clock.


Ibaka on the inbound grabbed Bridges. That meant a free throw for Rozier who made no mistake and tied the game. Graham missed in the dying seconds to send us to overtime. An ugly second half for the Raptors saw them score just 40 points.


Ibaka got the first bucket of OT after Biyombo was kicked out of the jump ball.


McCaw with a beautiful steal but again a turnover in the open floor. Rozier took it away and hit Graham for an open three.


A career high 23 points for Davis in his first NBA start. He hit back-to-back threes for a 108-105 Raptor lead with 2:36 left in the extra quarter. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, another career best.


Lowry drew a foul with 36 seconds remaining but stepped to the line and missed both free throws. After another Raptors stop, Ibaka drew a foul. He was 0 for 3 up to this point but made both shots.


With 5.1 seconds left, Raptors were up 112-110. Davis showed some more defence. He locked up Rozier who took a contested three and missed. Rozier was 9 for 23 with 27 points but Davis was an efficient 8 of 16 for his 23 points. Ibaka tied him with 23 also on good shooting, 10 for 19. The Raptors had 34 assists to just 10 turnovers but it was clear their offence was labouring all night. They will finally get some practice time missing four of their top eight rotation players.


Next up, Sunday when DeMar DeRozan makes his second return to Toronto with the San Antonio Spurs.