NBA: Balanced scoring effort leads Raptors past Hornets

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 17 2021 11:28 AM

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) and Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) battle for a ball during the second half at Amalie Arena. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Norman Powell made six 3-pointers en route to a team-high 24 points, and the Toronto Raptors scored their second win over the Charlotte Hornets in as many games, 116-113, Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

Powell was one of four Raptors to knock down three or more 3-pointers along with OG Anunoby, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. 

Toronto shot 21 of 49 from long range as a team compared to Charlotte's 15 of 36, which combined with the Raptors' 55-to-24 edge in bench scoring to make the difference.

Chris Boucher scored 20 points to complement Powell's season-high as the duo powered the Raptors' outpouring from the reserves. Boucher scored his final two points at the free-throw line with 3.4 seconds left to preserve the win.

Lowry led the Toronto starters with 19 points, Anunoby added 18, and VanVleet flirted with a triple-double, posting 15 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Toronto nearly squandered a big lead in the fourth quarter of Thursday's win, the result of a 12-point fourth quarter. Those offensive woes carried into the early going Saturday, with the Raptors going almost three minutes before scoring their first field goal.

Their 3-point shooting came alive, however, as the Raptors pushed their lead to as many as 12 points in the second quarter. 

But Terry Rozier knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 9.8 seconds of the half to cut the gap to two points, and it remained a back-and-forth affiar for the entire second half.

Gordon Hayward, who missed Thursday's matchup between the two teams with a hip injury, led Charlotte with 25 points. Rozier scored 24 points and knocked down six 3-pointers, while Devonte' Graham -- who finished with 20 points -- made his fourth and final 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining to pull the Hornets within one point before Boucher's decisive foul shots.

Graham also dished out a team-high seven assists in the loss.

With the win, Toronto has its first winning streak (2) of the 2020-21 season. Saturday marked the second of four straight Raptors games in Tampa, where they are playing their home contests this season due to Canada's COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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