Raptors hammer Hornets
Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022
TORONTO — Pascal Siakam had 24 points and matched his career high with 12 assists, Gary Trent Jr. scored a season-best 32 and the Toronto Raptors never trailed in a 125-113 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.
OG Anunoby scored 24 points, Chris Boucher had 12, Malachi Flynn 11 and Dalano Banton 10 as the short-handed Raptors overcame the absences of starters Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes. VanVleet sat out with a sore right knee, and Barnes was scratched less than an hour before tipoff because of a sore right wrist.
Siakam was replaced with 3:07 to play and Toronto leading by 17. He finished with nine rebounds, narrowly missing his second career triple-double.
LaMelo Ball scored 25 points and Miles Bridges had 22 for the Hornets, who had won three straight road games but also were missing key players. Gordon Hayward (sore right foot) and Jalen McDaniels (sprained left ankle) both sat out for the second consecutive game.
James Bouknight scored 18 points, and Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier each had 12.
Toronto came in trailing Charlotte by 2½ games in the Eastern Conference standings. The Raptors (23-22) have played three fewer games than the Hornets (26-22).
After scoring a season-low 34 points in the first half of Sunday’s loss to Portland, Toronto shot 16 for 26 in the opening period, including 7 for 11 from 3-point range, to lead 39-27 after one.
Toronto’s Justin Champagnie and Charlotte’s P.J. Washington were ejected with 1:46 left in the first quarter after a shoving match under the Hornets’ basket.
Bridges and Bouknight each scored 13 points in the second, but Toronto kept up its hot shooting, connecting on 13 of 21 attempts. The Raptors led 76-61 at halftime, their highest-scoring half of the season.
Charlotte opened the third quarter with a 14-2 run, cutting the deficit to 78-75 with 7:29 left in the quarter, but Trent scored 14 points as the Raptors pulled away again, taking a 105-86 lead into the fourth.
Hornets: Lost on the road for the first time since a 124-121 defeat at Washington on Jan. 3. … Coach James Borrego said McDaniels did not accompany the team on its two-game trip to Toronto and Indiana.
Raptors: Boucher and Precious Achiuwa started for Toronto. … C Khem Birch (broken nose) sat out for the sixth straight game. … Toronto plays 11 of its next 15 on the road.
Hornets: Visit the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Raptors: At the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
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