Shorthanded Raptors can’t contain Hornets three-point shooting, lose 114-104

Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/AP, Sportsnet

The Charlotte Hornets hand the Toronto Raptors their fourth straight loss for the first time since 2017, defeating the Raps by a score of 114-104. The Raptors could not handle the Hornet’s early efficient scoring and now drop to a 17-21 record this season.

The Raptors fell behind early this game and were unable to get anything going to try and mount a comeback. Ball movement and shooting from the Charlotte backcourt were the story for this game as the Hornets stormed out on an early 19-2 run along with 11 made threes in the first quarter and 16 in the first half; a franchise record. The team finished the game with 21 threes on 42.9% shooting beyond the arc.

LaMelo Ball continued to solidify his case as the unanimous Rookie of the Year, finishing tonight with 29 points along with 6 threes on an efficient 66.7% three-point shooting. He currently leads all NBA rookies in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game, adding to those averages tonight with nine rebounds and six assists.

With a shorthanded roster from continued health and safety protocols, the Raptors struggled to find their shot tonight shooting a mere 38.5% from the field.

After playing close to 40 minutes in their previous game against the Hawks, both Norm Powell and Kyle Lowry sat for most of the fourth quarter with only 28 and 31 minutes respectively. Lowry was the only offensive spark tonight for the Raptors and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Norm Powell struggled tonight on offence shooting only 4-14 from the field. With the Raptors keeping the same lineup for their next game, expect Powell to bounce back and continue his scoring stretch.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Raptors as they’ll head to Chicago to play the Bulls for the first time this season on Sunday night.  This game was originally postponed back on February 28th in order to manage health and safety protocols. Ahead of their game against the Bulls, the Raptors should continue to focus on converting on high percentage shots and maintaining high intensity play on both offensive and defensive ends.

Make sure to check out the game on March 14th at 9:00 p.m. EST.

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