Hornets
Raptors
94 - 107 Final
  for this game

Raptors beat Bobcats, clinch playoff berth

Apr 2, 2007 - 3:19 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- It looks like it is only a matter of time before the Toronto Raptors can call themselves Atlantic Division champions. They can already call themselves playoff-bound.

The Raptors clinched their first playoff berth in five years, riding 24 points and 16 rebounds from All-Star Chris Bosh to a 107-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Toronto (41-32) never trailed as it completed a season sweep of Charlotte. It opened a seven-game lead atop the Atlantic Division over second-place New Jersey (34-39) with nine games to play. The Raptors never have won a division title.

It will be the first postseason appearance for Bosh, a member of the heralded 2003 draft class who notched his 36th double-double. He has averaged 25 points and 16 boards during Toronto's three-game winning streak.

"We're still chasing home-court advantage and we have to keep playing hard until we achieve our goal," Bosh said. "We have to continue to work hard and focus on each team we are playing and make sure that we come with the same intensity that we've been coming with.

"It feels good just to be in important games. We want to get home-court advantage and we want to lock up the Atlantic Division."

Juan Dixon scored 15 points as the Raptors' bench outscored the Bobcats' reserves, 48-31.

Bosh paced the Raptors with 12 of team's first 16 points as they took a 10-point lead early in the first quarter. He finished the quarter with 16 and the first half with 22.

"I just wanted to start out aggressive, guys like T.J. (Ford) were finding me early on in the game and I got some easy baskets and that boosted my confidence early so when it was time to hit those 15 to 17 footers I was ready to go," Bosh said. "I always try to come out aggressive and when they double-team me find the open guy."

After allowing Charlotte to narrow the deficit to 78-70 late in the third quarter, Toronto went on a 15-6 run to put the game out of reach. Jose Calderon led the charge with six of his 14 points.

Charlotte got no closer than the final margin.

"It is hard playing catch-up all game, they had a couple of spurts and we could never quite get over that hump and it kind of got away from us at the end," Bobcats center Emeka Okafor said.

Rookie Walter Herrmann scored 22 points for Charlotte, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. In four games as a starter, the Argentine is averaging 20 points and seven rebounds.








  • NBA
    CHARLOTTE 94
    TORONTO 107 FINAL

    Apr 1 8:22 PM


  • NBA
    CHARLOTTE 71
    TORONTO 80 END, 3RD QTR

    Apr 1 7:52 PM


  • NBA
    CHARLOTTE 45
    TORONTO 53 HALFTIME

    Apr 1 7:09 PM


  • NBA
    CHARLOTTE 19
    TORONTO 27 END, 1ST QTR

    Apr 1 6:36 PM