Raptors use late free throws for 116-113 win over Hornets
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) works against Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, January 16, 2021 10:37PM EST
TAMPA, Fla. - Chris Boucher, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet converted eight straight free throws in the final two minutes Saturday night, helping Toronto beat the Charlotte Hornets, 116-113 for the Raptors first two-game win streak of the season.
Norman Powell led the Raptors with 24 points, and Boucher added 20 points and nine rebounds.
Gordon Heyward scored 25 points and Terry Rozier added 24 for the Hornets, losers of three straight. P.J. Washington finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Hornets had a chance to tie or take the lead but were called for a 24-second violation with 14.8 seconds left.
VanVleet's two free throws with 13.3 seconds left put the Raptors up 114-110, and after Devonte Graham's 3-pointer brought Charlotte within a point, Boucher answered with two free throws.
Rozier missed a long 3-point try just before the final horn.
After missing eight of their first nine shots and falling behind 14-2, the Raptors got the 3s to drop, as seven players hit 13 from long distance in the first half.
They led by 12 points before the Hornets finished the half on a 14-4 spurt, trimming Toronto's lead to 66-64 on Rozier's 34-foot buzzer-beating shot.
Heyward scored 21 points in the first half on only eight shots.
Devonte Graham and Bismack Biyombo scored the first nine points of the second half for Charlotte. Then Boucher, Toronto's hottest player, was called for his fourth personal foul with 7:40 left in the third quarter.
The 6-foot-9, 200-pound Boucher sat out the rest of the period, but provided the Raptors with a big defensive and rebounding boost in the fourth quarter.
Hornets: After missing Thursday night's game with a strained left hip, Heyward played 38 minutes.
Raptors: C Alex Len missed a second straight game due to personal reasons. ... Aron Baynes, Toronto's other centre, started and played only four minutes.
Hornets: Will play nine of there next 12 at home, starting Wednesday night against Washington.
Raptors: Play Dallas on Monday night in the third of five straight “home” games.