Raptors 123 – Hornets 103: everyone chips in


The Raptors were in Charlotte for an afternoon game. They looked lost early, but rapidly found their way forward. The Hornets couldn’t keep up.

The Raptors were off to a dreadful start in Charlotte. Kemba Walker drained a pair of long balls, and fed Dwight Howard for a pair of thunder dunks. Meanwhile, nothing was falling the other way, and the Hornets had a 10-0 lead. What the frack, nerds?

After enduring coach Dwane Casey’s angry timeout speech, the guys starting to make some noise. DeMar DeRozan’s jump shot has been badly inconsistent for several weeks. He missed a few, then found baskets easier to come by when taking the ball to the hole. Kyle Lowry started dishing successfully, and drained a pair of 3-balls. Our team got back into the match, as the Hornets missed a bunch of shots, and Jonas Valanciunas wasn’t offering do-overs.


Then the second unit entered the game, and the fun began. I’m enjoying watching these guys more than the starters. C.J. Miles flubbed his first two 3-balls, but was a force of nature after that. He ended with a ridiculous 24 points in 18 minutes of playing time. His mates kept feeding him, and he kept hitting; he even added a pair of 4-point plays.

Steady Freddie VanVleet led the kids effectively once again. He scored when he needed to, and dished when he didn’t. Pascal Siakam outran the Hornets in transition to cash in a pair of easy buckets on long passes from Fred.

Step on their throats, team

The Raptors took a 7-point lead into the locker room, and emerged hungry for more. JV buried both 3-balls he hoisted up, and DeMar had 6 dimes in Q3 alone, as he improves every day with drive-&-kick. Meantime, OG Anunoby, who had been a complete non-factor and then got hurt, was replaced by Norman Powell. He took no shots, which can be viewed as a positive, since any he put up would have been under pressure.

More from Raptors Rapture

Charlotte was putting up a lot of shots, most of which missed. They ended 7 for 22 in Q3, and were all but done. They need production from small forward Nicholas Batum, but he clanked every one of his ten shots. The Raptors were up 20 when Q4 opened, and rapidly ballooned the margin to 36 with a flurry of 3-balls from the rotation as the starters turned into spectators. Before game’s end, we received our first look at Malachi Richardson. He managed a bucket, as did Norman and Lucas Nogueira, which left OG as the only Raptor not to score a point.

Charlotte’s end of bench guys got hot as time wound down, so the score ended more flattering to the Hornets than they deserved.

The Raptors won this game from beyond the arc. They buried 18 of 37 attempts, with 6 players making at least one. Miles led with 6, on 9 attempts from all over.

Toronto’s depth meant no one played as much as 30 minutes; the closest was DeMar with 29+. Speaking of plus, C.J., Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl were a combined plus_78. Talk about domination…

The Raptors will try to extend their win streak to six on Tuesday night, when the Miami Heat pay a visit.