Shorthanded Raptors rout BobcatsDec 4, 2007 - 4:29 AM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Being shorthanded didn't seem to affect the Toronto Raptors as they used their deep bench to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats, 98-79, at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.
The Raptors were playing without All-Star forward Chris Bosh (strained groin), starting point guard T.J. Ford (arm stinger) and forward-center Andrea Bargnani (hyper-extended left knee).
Toronto used a balanced attack, with six players scoring in double figures, and a strong contribution from the bench as it led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter and never looked back.
"We had a really good game tonight and it was a good win for us," said Raptors guard Jose Calderon, who had another strong outing in place of Ford for the seventh consecutive contest. "Without Andrea, without Chris and T.J., everybody plays together and everybody knows their role."
The Raptors' bench outscored the Bobcats' reserves, 48-22, led by swingman Carlos Delfino and forward Kris Humphries, who finished with 17 points apiece. Humphries tied his career-high scoring output on Monday night.
"That's what makes our team good is that guys are eager to play and are ready to compete," Humphries said. "If you look down our bench, everybody is able to contribute."
Toronto came into the game as the most accurate shooting team in the NBA from 3-point range and continued that trend in this one, hitting 5-of-6 from the arc in the first half and 8-of-13 for the game.
Delfino continued his strong play off the bench for the Raptors, connecting on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter, which gave Toronto a 27-16 lead after one.
"I feel pretty good right now, my confidence level is high," Delfino said. "My teammates are great playmakers, and they keep finding me."
The Raptors shot 51 percent from the field in the first half, while the Bobcats struggled, shooting 28 percent en route to a 54-33 deficit at the half.
Emeka Okafor paced the Bobcats with 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless after halftime. The 6-10 center also grabbed just three rebounds in the contest.
Jamario Moon grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who outrebounded the Bobcats, 46-35.
The Bobcats opened the second half with three consecutive 3-pointers - two by Jason Richardson and one by Gerald Wallace - to cut their deficit to 12 points at 54-42.
The Raptors answered with a layup by Rasho Nesterovic and a shot from the arc by Anthony Parker at the 7:40 mark of the third quarter en route to a 19-point advantage.
The Bobcats struggled all night from the field, shooting a dismal 30 percent (22-of-72) and could not cut their deficit any closer than 13 points in the fourth quarter.
"We came out flat in the first quarter, and once you get down by 20 points, it is tough to come back from there," Richardson said. "Nights like this happen sometimes in the NBA where you can't make a shot."
Rookie Jared Dudley collected a season-high tying 16 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte .
"The rookie came in, he played hard, he played aggressive," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "He was bright spot in what was just a miserable evening."
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