NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Toronto
(Friday, April 4th)
Final Score: Charlotte 105, Toronto 100
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Jason Richardson scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and tallied six assists, and the Charlotte Bobcats momentarily prevented the Raptors from clinching a playoff spot with a 105-100 win over Toronto.
The Raptors, who entered play on Friday tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia and Washington, could have locked up a playoff berth with a win. Though they didn't come through against Charlotte, the Raptors only needed a Nets loss or a Wizards win on Friday to secure a playoff spot.
Both happened, and the Raptors will again take part in the postseason. Wins by the Sixers and Wizards put Toronto in seventh place in the East, though, and dropping 16 of 20 like the Raptors is not exactly taking momentum into the playoffs.
"It's just intensity and urgency," said Chris Bosh. "You don't want to give teams confidence. When they get confidence they start making shots and guys start making plays and then you have trouble on your hands."
Raymond Felton had 21 points, seven assists, and six boards for the Bobcats, who stemmed a two-game slide and won a franchise-record fourth straight on the road. Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 13 boards for Charlotte, which has won its last three on the road after trailing entering the fourth quarter.
Radoslav Nesterovic scored a season-high 23 points and raked in 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who have dropped three of four. Bosh had 23 points and eight boards, and Anthony Parker added 14 points and seven boards.
T.J. Ford doled out a season-high 14 assists, but committed a crucial turnover late in regulation.
After Bosh made one-of-two at the line, pulling the Raptors within 98-97 with 1:15 left, Felton drove the lane but missed a layup. Ford led Toronto back down the court, but Earl Boykins picked his pocket, coming up with the steal. Boykins drained a leaner off the glass at the other end and drew the foul from Ford. The three-point play gave Charlotte a 101-97 lead with 41.2 seconds left.
Okafor made one-of-two at the line with 26.3 seconds left, but Parker drilled a three from the corner to cut the Charlotte lead to 102-100. Felton made two free throws with 23.3 ticks left, and Parker and Bosh both missed threes in the final 20 seconds as the Bobcats held on for the win.
"It was a huge win for us," said Richardson. "We've still got team goals that we want to accomplish and we are going to play hard until the last game of the season."
Charlotte led 51-46 at the half, but a 9-0 Raptors run gave Toronto a 59-58 lead early in the third quarter. The Raptors took a slim 76-74 lead into the fourth.
The Bobcats earned a 2-2 split in the season series...Toronto has won 11 of the 14 all-time meetings...Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace left early with a groin injury...Despite the four-game streak, the Bobcats are still a lowly 10-28 away from home.
04/05 01:44:55 ET