Bobcats aim for 1st winning streak since November, host Raptors
The Toronto Raptors have struggled on the road and the Charlotte Bobcats are no better at home. Something has to give when the two teams clash Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Raptors are 9-24 away from the Great White North. Charlotte shares an identical mark as the host and is aiming for its first winning streak since late November. The Bobcats opened a three-game homestand with Monday's 119-114 victory over the Washington Wizards and won for the second time in 14 tries.
Gerald Henderson scored 27 points to lead the charge, while Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, for Charlotte, which tied a season-high with 63 first-half points and hasn't won two in a row since Nov. 19-21.
"We've got a lot of fight," said Henderson. "We had a little bit of a lull in the fourth quarter, but we pulled it back and came together. We got sharp on offense and defense and got it done tonight. We've kept working and it played hard. It feels good."
Henderson is averaging 25 ppg in his last four.
The Bobcats, who are only 28th in defense (103.0 ppg), have won two in a row at home and will also welcome the Detroit Pistons to town.
Toronto has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games and will try to halt a two-game road slide in the Tar Heel State.
The Raptors faced the daunting task of trying to stop the Miami Heat on Sunday, but a subpar fourth quarter sent them to the loss column. Trailing 76-73 heading into the fourth quarter, Miami registered a 32-18 advantage in the final period to run Toronto off its own floor.
"They turn the heat up on you in a very costly way," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Rudy Gay scored 27 points and Amir Johnson played tough, posting 18 points and 18 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas also netted 18 points in the loss.
Toronto, which occupies last place in the Atlantic Division, will begin a home-and-home series with the New York Knicks Friday up north. The Raptors have won two of three meetings with Charlotte this season and is 17-14 in the all-time series.
Charlotte is 10-5 in the past 15 matchups between the teams and shoots for its fifth straight win at home versus Toronto.