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Post Game Report Card: Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets

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The Toronto Raptors beat the the Charlotte Hornets 96-90, behind a combined 47 points by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

After losing their first matchup against the Hornets earlier in the season, the Raptors have now won two straight against their Eastern Conference opponent. The win improves the Raptors to 52-25, continuing their best season record in franchise history.

The Hornets, the 6th seed in the East, were without Nicolas Batum. While the Raptors continued without DeMarre Carroll, and James Johnson who picked up a DNP.

Post Game Report Card:

Offence: A-

The Raptors played a team game from beginning to end, with five players finishing in double-digits. They built an early, finishing the first quarter up 26-16. They would carry that momentum for the majority of the game, holding the lead till the final buzzer.

DeRozan started the first half strong, by scoring the first 17 of his eventual 26 points that night. Lowry also scored 21 points against the Hornets, while finding ways to get his teammates involved with 6 assists. Including this dish to Jonas Valanciunas.

Despite the Raptors having a horrible shooting night, only converting on 43.6 per cent of their field goal attempts and 26 per cent of their 3-point shots, they were able to build up their biggest lead of 19 at the 3:45 mark of the third quarter.

Defence: A

The Hornets were looking to make a statement going into tonight’s game, by trying to beat an Eastern Conference heavyweight.

The Raptors did a solid job on the defensive end of the floor, proving why they’re eight games ahead of the Hornets. Bismack Biyombo and Valanciunas both had 3 blocks, scaring the Hornets from driving to the rim. Lowry also joined the block party, when the Hornets tried to get to the rim on a fast break opportunity.

Thanks to the Raptors’ defensive hustle, they limited the Hornets to 36.7 per cent shooting and 31.4 per cent from beyond the arc. Jeremy Lin started the first half strong with 15 points on 4-4 shooting from distance, but the Raptors made the necessary adjustments to make sure he only finished with 21 points.

Rebounding: A-

The Raptors were led by Jonas Valanciunas’ 12 points and 12 rebounds, helping them win the battle on the glass 47-43.

The Hornets relied on Al Jefferson who came off the bench to pick up 11 boards, which included 5 offensive rebounds. They were able to beat the Raptors on the offensive glass 11-7, but they both finished with 11 second chance points.

Biyombo and DeRozan also put in hustle on the glass, each grabbing 7 rebounds to help the Raptors finish their defensive sequences.

Game Ball: Kyle Lowry

The Raptors became too comfortable with their lead in the fourth quarter, with the Hornets beating them 31-21 in the frame. Lowry made sure that his team wouldn’t lose a hard-earned win, by scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.

He also provided hustle on every opportunity, including this loose ball.

Lowry’s defence on Kemba Walker was great, only allowing him to score 11 points on 4-16 shooting. A great accomplishment, considering Walker was averaging 23.8 points in the fives prior to his matchup with the Raptors.

All stats for this article are form NBA.com

You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97



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