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Richardson buries shorthanded Raptors for 30 points

Mar 3, 2008 - 3:01 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Jason Richardson scored 13 of his 30 points in the third quarter to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 110-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Charlotte has been without its leading scorer, Gerald Wallace (concussion), since February 22, but Richardson has picked up the slack by averaging 24.2 points since Wallace's injury.

However, the Bobcats had yet to pick up a win since dropping 12 of 13 coming into the contest.

"We're just out there playing," Richardson said. "We're undermanned right now and just playing for pride."

Toronto took a 57-52 lead early in the third on a driving layup by Jose Calderon before the Bobcats took over offensively.

Emeka Okafor and Jared Dudley each scored a basket to cut the lead to just one. A pair of free throws by Andrea Bargnani pushed Toronto's lead back to three before Richardson tied the game at 59-59 on a three-point play.

"We played with a lot of energy and a lot of passion," Bobcats guard Raymond Felton said. "That's the kind of team we have; we're trying to bring that for the final 20-some games left."

Charlotte took the lead for good, 65-62, on a 3-pointer by Matt Carroll with 7:30 left in the period. Anthony Parker scored for the Raptors, but the Bobcats then went on an impressive 12-0 run which included five points from Richardson and a 3-pointer by Felton to cap the run with 4:42 to go in the third.

"We started to push the ball in the third and never let up," Carroll said. "This was a total team effort. We all played well as a team and that was key."

Parker tried to rally the Raptors in the fourth and cut Charlotte's lead to 98-89 on a pair of free throws. Dudley scored five of his career-high 17 points during a 9-0 run which sealed the Bobcats' victory.

"You've got to play your role," Dudley said. "I attacked the offensive rebounds and got open off of picks. Tonight, it just turned into a double-double for me."

The Raptors also were shorthanded as All-Star forward Chris Bosh sat out due to a sore right knee. Bosh injured the knee against Indiana on Friday and is expected to be out a week, missing all three games on the Raptors' road trip.

Rasho Nesterovic scored a season-high 13 points in the first quarter as the Raptors jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter.

Charlotte dominated the offensive glass with 32 second-chance points while not allowing Toronto to claim any.

"32 points on the offensive glass," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "I don't know what to say. We didn't box out and didn't do the tough things. Our defense was good. They just beat us up on the glass. We tried everybody. If you're not going to rebound in this league, you can't win."

The 32-point differential on second-chance points by Charlotte was the largest since the NBA began keeping the stat in 1996.

Parker scored 24 points and Nesterovic finished with 16 as the Raptors had just two players reach double figures in scoring.

"We have done a good job on defense this season," Parker said. "But with Chris being out, rebounding will be more of a challenge for us."

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