Bobcats play host to Raptors

The NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats will play three straight and six of their next seven games at home, starting with tonight's showdown with the Toronto Raptors at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Bobcats are 3-15 as the host and last in the Southeast Division. They have the worst record in the league at 6-36 and the Dallas Mavericks added to that ledger with a 101-96 win in Big D on Thursday behind 27 points, six rebounds and five assists from reigning NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

Corey Maggette ended with 21 points, while D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson and rookie Kemba Walker had 12 points apiece for the Bobcats, who went 1-3 on a four-game road trip and lost for the 10th time in 12 tries.

"I like what Kemba's doing. When he crosses over, he looks to take the shot, and that's what you should do," Charlotte head coach Paul Silas said. "You string the man out and then you look to pass the basketball. He's still learning."

Maggette has scored in double figures in 16 of his last 17 games, posting 17.4 ppg in that span. Henderson has achieved similar success in 14 of his previous 19 contests. The Bobcats will also host Philadelphia and Milwaukee on the residency before paying a visit to New Jersey. Charlotte will then return home for another three-game residency versus Boston, Minnesota and Denver.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will continue a five-game road trip and improved to 2-1 on the journey with Friday's 114-110 overtime triumph in Memphis.

Jerryd Bayless scored 28 points and dished out nine assists, while Gary Forbes had 20 points and both Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan added 18 points for the Raptors, who are 8-15 away from Canada and outscored the Bobcats by an 11-7 margin in the extra session. Toronto shot 48.1 percent for the game.

"I think there was some times in the fourth quarter where we did some stupid things," said Bayless, "but we were able to grind it out and win the game."

The Raptors will close out the road swing at New York on Tuesday. Jose Calderon did not play last night because of a sprained ankle and has missed four straight games. Calderon's status is questionable for Saturday. Bargnani is averaging 14.5 ppg in his past four games.

Toronto dropped a 98-91 decision at home to the Bobcats on Feb. 17, as Charlotte ended a 16-game slide thanks to 22 points from Reggie Williams. Charlotte has won five straight in this series, while Toronto has lost two straight and four of its last five at the Bobcats.

The Raptors hope to avoid being the only team that has lost twice to Charlotte during this compressed season.