NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 15th (All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (14-50) at Toronto Raptors (25-40), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Charlotte Bobcats ended one streak the last time out and look to stop another when they visit the Toronto Raptors Friday from Air Canada Centre.
The Bobcats are winless in their last five road assignments and own just a 6-26 mark as the guest this season. The Bobcats haven't won on the road since Feb. 19 at Orlando.
Charlotte dropped 10 in a row from that victory over the Magic, then put the brakes on the slide with a 100-74 win over the Boston Celtics Tuesday night. Gerald Henderson came to play and made 11-of-19 shots for a career-high 35 points. He made all 12 of his free throws and handed out three assists.
"It feels good to win again," Henderson said. "We work hard every day to get a win out here. It's just extra special to do it with a career night. We played hard out there and it paid off."
Henderson is averaging 16.2 ppg in the last 19 games and has scored at least 20 points in two of his previous three contests.
Ben Gordon added 17 points and Josh McRoberts recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets. Kemba Walker notched 10 points and four steals in the win, helping Charlotte record the largest margin of victory since a 104-65 besting of the Miami Heat Jan. 20, 2010.
The 74 points allowed by the Bobcats were a season low, which is a tremendous stride since they give up an average of 103.0 ppg this season (third worst).
Charlotte is slated to visit Boston on Saturday.
Toronto is back from its trip to New England and sustained a 112-88 loss on Wednesday against the Celtics, a team Friday night's opponent just defeated.
The Raptors used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to trim a 13-point deficit, but the Celtics responded with a 14-4 bulge and led by an 81-62 score heading into the fourth quarter. Toronto lost for the seventh time in nine tries.
"We had a four-point game in the third quarter and then we let frustration set in," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "We haven't been getting calls all year and that frustrates us, and we can't let it happen. But again, when a team turns it up like that, we have got to turn back our fire and get back into them. And I thought that was the difference in the game. They turned up the heat and we didn't respond."
Rudy Gay, who made only 7-of-19 shots, paced the Raptors with 19 points, while DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross finished with 17 and 13 points, respectively. Gay is averaging 19.6 ppg in 17 games since the Raptors acquired him from Memphis and has led the team in scoring 10 times.
DeRozan has appeared in seven games this month, posting 16.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
After Friday's game versus Charlotte, the Raptors, who are 16-16 up north and are scheduled to play three of the next four at home, will welcome the Miami Heat to Air Canada Centre Sunday.
The Raptors and Bobcats have split a pair of meetings this season with each team prevailing on its home court. Charlotte is 7-2 in the past nine matchups with Toronto.
03/15 10:26:03 ET