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Raptors bounce back, beat Bobcats 103-101

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chris Bosh had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu hit the go-ahead 3-pointer a day after getting benched, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Bobcats 103-101 on Monday night for a key victory in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Raptors (36-37) entered having lost three straight and 13 of 17, but they managed to snap Charlotte's three-game winning streak to stay in eighth place in the East, a game ahead of idle Chicago.

Toronto was up two when Sonny Weems missed two free throws with 13 seconds left to give Charlotte a chance. But Tyson Chandler couldn't handle Raymond Felton's pass in the lane, and the ball rolled out of bounds.

It left owner Michael Jordan shaking his head as the Bobcats (38-35) remained in seventh in the East and surrendered the tiebreaker to Toronto.

Felton had 18 points and seven assists, Stephen Jackson also scored 18 points, but was plagued by foul trouble, and Gerald Wallace had 17 points and eight rebounds for the sixth-year Bobcats, who seemed to show their inexperience in the fourth quarter as they eye their first playoff berth.

Andrea Bargnani had 16 points and nine rebounds, Antoine Wright added 15 points and Turkoglu scored 11 points off the bench in his new role in a rough game that included three technicals, some hard fouls and even the sight of Jordan getting up from his courtside seat to scream at referee Eric Lewis early in the fourth quarter.

Jordan was upset when Toronto used a 7-0 spurt to start the fourth to take the lead — a run that included Jackson picking up his fifth foul on a charge call.

Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer with 4:24 left to put Toronto ahead 95-93. Bosh then dunked on Wallace and Jarrett Jack hit three free throws after being fouled by Felton to put Toronto ahead 100-93 with 2:56 left.

Jackson hit a 3 and two free throws to cut the deficit to 100-98 with 1:18 left. Jackson then knocked the ball away from Turkoglu, who stepped on the sideline while retrieving it.

But Jackson and Wallace missed jumpers on the ensuing possession for Charlotte, and the Raptors did just enough to hold on.

Turkoglu, who signed a five-year, $53 million free-agent deal with the Raptors in the offseason, was a healthy scratch for the first time in seven years Sunday in Miami. It came after he was spotted on the town Friday night — hours after he missed a home loss to Denver with what was called a stomach virus.

Coach Jay Triano started Antoine Wright against the Bobcats, and when asked if he was concerned if Turkoglu would accept his indefinite role as a reserve replied, "Probably more readily than not playing at all."

Turkoglu checked in with 1:50 left in the first quarter and hit two 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper in the first half, but was 0 for 3 in the second half before his 3 put Toronto ahead for good.

The Raptors shot 51 percent and became the first team in 14 games to reach 100 points against the Bobcats, who played without forward Tyrus Thomas (ankle).

NOTES: The most difficult basket of the night didn't count. Wallace hit a shot from the other side of the backboard while falling out of bounds after getting fouled. Wright then slammed the ball against the basket support and was called for a technical foul. ... Jackson and Raptors C Andrea Bargnani were also called for third-quarter technicals. ... The Bobcats say Thomas first sprained his left ankle Wednesday against Minnesota. He played Friday against Washington. ... Hours after winning the NASCAR race at Martinsville, season-ticket holder Denny Hamlin took in the game.