NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 21st (All times eastern)
Toronto Raptors (3-8) at Charlotte Bobcats (5-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two wins shy of last season's total, the overachieving Charlotte Bobcats resume a four-game homestand Wednesday versus the Toronto Raptors from Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Bobcats have won four of their last five games and recorded a 102-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Monday. Ramon Sessions scored a season-high 23 points off the bench, while Byron Mullens and Kemba Walker notched 19 points apiece.
Sessions and Walker have scored in double figures in all nine games.
Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 15 points for the Bobcats, who are 5-4 this season and won just seven games (7-59) during the lockout-shortened campaign a season ago. The Bobcats' 5-4 start ties the 2007-08 team for the best nine-game opening to a season.
"Milwaukee is a great team, so it definitely gives us confidence and lets us know we can play with any team in this league," Walker said about the win. "We're a young team. We're growing, getting better every day and it's showing."
Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 13.8 ppg over his last five games. Bobcats guard Ben Gordon suffered a right knee contusion and left the game early without returning. He is questionable Wednesday.
Charlotte is 4-0 this season in games decided by four points or less and didn't record its fifth win last season until March. It will close out the residency Friday versus Atlanta.
Toronto's three-game road trip didn't get off to a promising start with Tuesday's 106-98 loss in Philadelphia.
The Raptors blew a fourth-quarter lead and were outscored 33-18 in the final period. DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani had 24 and 22 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who fell to 1-5 on the road this season and are 0-6 when allowing 100 or more points.
"We had control of the game and we've got to make basketball plays," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
Jose Calderon posted 13 points and 12 assists in defeat. Kyle Lowry, a Villanova product, had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and missed the previous six games because of a foot ailment.
The Raptors, mired in a 10-of-12 stretch of games on the road, are scheduled to visit Detroit Friday in the finale of the trek.
Toronto dropped two of three matchups with Charlotte last season and has lost nine of the past 12 encounters between the two clubs. The Raptors have lost three in a row and five of six visits to the Tar Heel State.
11/21 10:46:24 ET