Hot shooting night lifts Raptors to 132-120 victory over Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) celebrates after scoring during second half NBA basketball action against the Charlotte Hornets in Toronto on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 10, 2023 10:35PM EST
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors finally rediscovered their long-range shooting - and it led to a victory on Tuesday.
Pascal Siakam scored 28 points while O.G. Anunoby matched his career-high of six three-pointers on a 22-point night and the Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 132-120 for their second consecutive win.
Gary Trent Jr. had 24 points, while Precious Achiuwa had 13, Chris Boucher chipped in with 12, and Fred VanVleet scored 11 for Toronto (18-23).
The Raptors, who entered the game 29th in the league in three-point shooting - Charlotte is last - shot a season-high 20 three-pointers, and were just shy of their season's best three-point percentage (45.5 per cent vs. their best of 46).
Terry Rozier scored 30 points to top the Hornets (11-31), who have the second worst record in the league.
Coming off a 117-105 win over Portland two nights earlier that snapped a three-game losing streak, the Raptors carried some momentum into Tuesday, shooting 50 per cent from three-point range through the first half.
Clutching a two-point lead the start the fourth, the Raptors opened the quarter with an 11-5 run punctuated by a Boucher three-pointer that put them up by eight. Anunoby hit consecutive three-pointers, then VanVleet drilled two in just over a minute for a 15-point lead with 3:26 to play.
A basket by LaMelo Ball pulled the Hornets to within 10, but Trent's three followed by a big dunk by Anunoby all but stuffed the Hornets' hopes for a win.
The Raptors and Hornets looked anything but the league's worst three-point shooting teams in the first quarter, shooting a combined 11-for-17 from behind the arc. Siakam had back-to-back threes and 14 points in a tight first quarter that saw neither team lead by more than five points, and Toronto led 35-34 to start the second.
Achiuwa, who'd missed 19 of his previous 20 three-point attempts before Tuesday, went 3-for-3 in the second quarter, including a pair on consecutive possessions that put Toronto up by five. A tip dunk by Boucher made it a nine-point lead with 2:20 left in the half, and Toronto took a 72-66 advantage into the break.
The Hornets shot a sizzling 61.1 per cent in the third quarter and their 13-2 run turned a nine-point Raptors lead into a two-point deficit. Toronto led 96-94 with one quarter to play.
PORTER SURGERY: Otto Porter Jr. is out for the season after having surgery to repair a dislocated toe. Porter, who helped Golden State to an NBA title last season, has only appeared in eight games with the Raptors. He was sidelined early in the season with a hamstring injury, then dislocated his toe on Nov. 14.
“When we tried to get him back in action, tried to ramp it up a little bit, he just wasn't making progress,” coach Nick Nurse said. “He went to see some specialists and in the end, this was the long-term solution for him.”
AWARDS: The Raptors won the league's NBA Inclusion Leadership Award for the 2021-22 season.
RED CARPET: Rapper J. Cole, who played five games for the Scarborough Shooting Stars last summer, had a courtside seat Tuesday.
UP NEXT: The Raptors host the Hornets again on Thursday, and then cap their season-long six-game homestand on Saturday against Atlanta.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.