Hornets
Raptors
105 - 100 Final
  for this game

Raptors fall to Bobcats, still clinch playoff spot

Apr 5, 2008 - 2:57 AM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

TORONTO (Ticker) - Jason Richardson and the Charlotte Bobcats tried to play the role of spoiler, but the Toronto Raptors got some help from elsewhere.

Richardson scored 27 points and Raymond Felton added 21 and seven assists as the Bobcats picked up a rare road win with a 105-100 victory over Raptors on Friday night.

Despite the setback, Toronto (38-38) still managed to clinch its second consecutive playoff berth with Washington's win and New Jersey's loss.

Richardson connected on 10-of-18 shots and grabbed seven rebounds to go along with six assists.

"It was a huge win for us," Richardson said. "I've been trying to go out there and assert myself on the offensive end and keep my team in the game."

"Jason has been playing well for us and we were able to get Raymond Felton going in the second half," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "When we get a collective team effort offensively and defensively, then we're usually a pretty decent team."

Charlotte played the second half without the services of forward Gerald Wallace, who left the game with a sore left groin and did not return.

The Raptors used the strength of an impressive 27-10 surge in the third quarter to take control of the game as T.J. Ford's layup at 3:44 capped the run to forge a 73-65 lead.

Emeka Okafor scored on consecutive possessions to help Charlotte battle back within 76-74 heading into the final quarter.

Charlotte opened the fourth on an 11-2 run to regain the lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Felton at the 10-minute mark to make it 85-78.

"We did a great job overall making plays and stops at the end," Felton said. "I'm taking over the leadership and I'm trying to be aggressive when I get my chances and I'm trying to get the ball to my teammates in good places."

Toronto regained the lead once again behind a 10-2 run, but Earl Boykins' steal led to a three-point play with 41 seconds to go to give Charlotte a 101-97 lead that it wouldn't relinquish.

"I saw T.J. relax a little bit and I was able to steal it off him and take it down the court and finish," Boykins said.

Chris Bosh scored 23 points and Rasho Nesterovic chipped in 23 and 10 boards for the Raptors, finished 2-1 in the season series against the Bobcats.

"We have to play like the time is now, and I don't think we are doing a good job of that," said Bosh, who had eight rebounds and four assists.








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    TORONTO 100 FINAL

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    Hornets 97, Raptors 94  4th - 2:35Apr 4 9:11 PM
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    Hornets vs. RaptorsApr 4 3:24 PM