Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets
Records: Raptors (17-20), Hornets (18-18)
Where to Watch
Date: Saturday, March 13
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN One
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Losses don't come much tougher than the way the Raptors went out against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, having a 19-point comeback spoiled by a Tony Snell game-winning buzzer-beater 3-pointer. But by now, you've heard all about the big shot and Trae Young going off for 37 points and the game-winning assist. What about the rest of that game?
MORE: Head coach Nick Nurse shoulders the blame for Hawks loss
Norman Powell continued his hot stretch, going for 33 points on an efficient 11-for-20 from the field and 6-for-10 from 3-point range to lead the Raptors. The prolific scoring wing has now scored 30-plus points in three of his last four games, giving Toronto everything he's got with a handful of key players out due to coronavirus health and safety protocols.
Confidence on another level@npowell2404 | 18 Pts | 4 3pm pic.twitter.com/sCIQxWjIYt- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 12, 2021
Chris Boucher also had an inspiring performance, following up a career-high 30 points against the Boston Celtics prior to the All-Star break with another big game off the bench. Boucher tallied 29 points - 20 of which came in the second half - to go with nine boards, two blocks, two assists and two steals. That duo, along with Kyle Lowry, who made history in his own way on Thursday, will have to continue to step up to the challenge with Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Patrick McCaw and Malachi Flynn all ruled out for this matchup against the Hornets to kick off a short three-game road trip.
MORE: Lowry passes Chris Bosh for second on Raptors all-time scoring list
As for Charlotte, it has now won consecutive games to get back to .500 at 18-18, tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Thanks to a clutch fourth-quarter performance from Terry Rozier, which was capped off by a game-sealing floater in the late seconds of their win over the Detroit Pistons, the Hornets take some momentum into this third and final matchup against the Raptors.
Final 3:11 for Terry Rozier:- NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2021
4-point play ✅
3-point play ✅
3 pointer ✅
Icy runner ✅@T_Rozzay3 lifts @hornets in the clutch. pic.twitter.com/XSiwb9tTFg
Toronto has already locked up the season series, defeating the Hornets on consecutive nights back in January, but this individual game could very easily play a role in the East playoff picture down the road if things continue at this pace.
Charlotte will need superstar rookie LaMelo Ball to maintain his elite level of play, averaging an impressive 19.8 points, 6.8 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game since being inserted into the starting lineup. He and Rozier have been stellar as a backcourt tandem, while Gordon Hayward has returned to near-All-Star-level this season to add to the Hornets star power.
Without three starters in VanVleet, Siakam and Anunoby, the Raptors should have their hands full with this surging Charlotte squad.
Raptors vs. Hawks: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Raptors +2.5 (-110); Hornets -2.5 (-110)
Raptors Moneyline: +120
Hornets Moneyline: -140
Over/under: 233.5 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book
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• Fred VanVleet (health and safety protocols) - OUT
• Pascal Siakam (health and safety protocols) - OUT
• OG Anunoby (health and safety protocols) - OUT
• Patrick McCaw (health and safety protocols) - OUT
• Malachi Flynn (health and safety protocols) - OUT
Last Time They Played
Date: Jan. 16, 2021
Score: Raptors 116, Hornets 113
Raptors: Norman Powell - 24 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST
Hornets: Gordon Hayward - 25 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
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