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Bobcats edge Raptors
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ramon Sessions scored 23 points and Al Jefferson deposited a 22-point, 19-rebound double-double as the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Toronto Raptors 100-95 from Time Warner Cable Arena.
Gerald Henderson netted 16 points, while Josh McRoberts and Jannero Pargo each contributed 11 points for the Bobcats, who defeated Toronto for the seventh straight time in Charlotte.
DeMar DeRozan tallied 25 points and Kyle Lowry scored 21 for Toronto, which last beat the Bobcats in Charlotte on March 29, 2010. Greivis Vasquez had 15 points off the bench and Chuck Hayes added 12 with 13 rebounds in a reserve role.
"We started out really slow," said Lowry. "That second unit ... that's why we have 15 guys. They did an unbelievable job. All the credit goes to them today."
McRoberts knocked down a 3-pointer with 8 1/2 minutes left in the third to begin a 12-0 surge that pushed the lead to a game-high 30, 71-41. Toronto ended the final 4:25 of the quarter on a 17-7 run to cut the deficit to 78-60 heading into the fourth.
The Raptors stormed back in the fourth quarter with a 22-7 run that Steve Novak opened with a trey and DeRozan capped it with a layup to pull Toronto within 91-88.
Sessions answered with a layup at 1:37, but Hayes tipped in his own miss on the next Toronto possession and Lowry followed with a jumper and was fouled by Jefferson in the process.
With Toronto down one, Lowry stepped to the line and his free throw rimmed out with 25.9 seconds left.
Henderson and Sessions combined to go 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in the final 24 seconds as the Bobcats held on.
"That's the thing about the NBA, if a team gets going it's hard to stop them, and they got it going in the fourth quarter," said Sessions. "But we had a cushion enough where we were able to keep the lead."
Charlotte jumped all over Toronto early with Henderson and Jefferson making back-to-back dunks to give the Bobcats a 17-7 lead just shy of the five-minute mark of the first. The lead would grow to 26-11 after one as Jefferson personally ended the quarter on a 6-0 sprint.
The Raptors looked lethargic in the early going after taking a heartbreaking 112-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in which they led by as many as 19.
Toronto fell behind by as many as 22 in the second quarter on Monday and trailed 55-36 at the break.
Toronto's bench outscored Charlotte's reserves 44-23 ... Toronto outrebounded Charlotte 51-40 ... Charlotte made 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) 3-pointers ... Toronto outscored Charlotte 28-0 in second chance points.
01/20 18:25:05 ET
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