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Raptors make 21 3-pointers to edge Hornets in back-to-back games

Rick Bonnell, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds left and Charlotte Hornet Terry Rozier missed a 3-pointer with under a second left, as the Raptors edged the Hornets, 116-113, Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

The Raptors made 21 3-pointers Saturday, two nights after making 20 against the Hornets in the first of this two-game set.

Gordon Hayward, back from a hip injury, finished with 25 points and five rebounds for the Hornets. Norman Powell led the way with 24 points off the bench for the Raptors and Boucher added 20.

Down two with under a minute left, the Hornets committed a shot-clock violation with 14 seconds left and the ball just leaving Devonte Graham’s hands, but not getting to the rim.

Forced to foul, Rozier took one on Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, who made both free throws. Graham responded with a 3-pointer to cut the Raptors’ lead to one with seven seconds left.

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The Hornets held Hayward out of Thursday’s game against the Raptors, after he suffered a left hip strain in the second half of the loss to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday.

They listed Hayward as questionable Saturday, upgraded him to probable pre-game, then started him with no minutes limitations. That was a bit bold, considering the Hornets don’t play again until Wednesday at home against the Washington Wizards, so he could have had a long stretch to heal.

Obviously, he was effective with that first half of 21 points.

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