DeMar DeRozan continued his torrid pace, scoring 34 points as the Toronto Raptors snapped the Charlotte Hornets’ four-game winning streak with a 113-111 win Friday night.
DeRozan came into the game averaging an NBA-high 34.1 points per game. He shot 14 of 26 from the field and made several key jumpers down the stretch as the Raptors erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win for the fifth time in six games.
DeRozan has scored at least 30 points in seven of Toronto’s eight games.
His latest big night offset a huge performance from Charlotte guard Kemba Walker, who scored 40 points on 12-of-19 shooting, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range. Walker also had 10 rebounds and six assists.
With the game tied at 97, Nic Batum drove the lane and dished to Cody Zeller for a dunk. Marvin Williams followed with a 3 from the top of the arc to push Charlotte’s lead to five with 4 minutes remaining, revving up the crowd.
But DeRozan came right back with two mid-range jumpers, and Lucas Nogueira’s tip-in gave the Raptors lead for good.
The Hornets trailed by 16 in the first half but fought back to take an 82-79 lead at the end of the third quarter behind an 18-0 run led by Walker. The 6-foot point guard dazzled with quickness, finding ways to knock down shots and free up others for open looks. Frank Kaminsky was a beneficiary, knocking down a pair of long 3-pointers.
Raptors: Outscored the Hornets 50-32 in the paint. ... Kyle Lowry added 19 points and eight rebounds despite foul trouble.
Hornets: Walker has scored at least 20 points in seven straight games. ... Treveon Graham got his first NBA start in place of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (back). Graham is normally not even in the rotation, but coach Steve Clifford didn’t want to break up his second unit because it has been playing so well together. ... Roy Hibbert returned after missing the previous five games with right knee soreness.
Raptors: Toronto returns home to play the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Hornets: Face a stiff test Saturday night when they visit the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.Report Typo/Error