CHARLOTTE — Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. each scored 24 points for Toronto on Monday night as the Raptors picked up their sixth straight win while sending the Charlotte Hornets to their fifth straight loss.
The red-hot Raptors (29-23) walked out of Spectrum Center with a 116-101 victory. Meanwhile, the foundering Hornets (28-27) — stuck in their biggest rut of the season so far — have now lost seven of their past nine.
Toronto took control early, leading Charlotte by 14 points after one quarter and extending the lead to 23 points midway through the second.
The Hornets slashed the Raptors’ lead to 76-73 during the third quarter, but Toronto went on a rampage from behind the arc in the fourth quarter, outscoring Charlotte 36-26 in the final frame.
Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby each recorded 20 points for the Raptors, and Scottie Barned added 15 points.
“Great run in the third quarter and I’m really proud of the effort there. We bounced back and started making shots and started to create offense off our defense,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “We’re just going to have to do that until we find that rhythm offensively. The three ball obviously has dried up a bit, but it’s going to come back to us. But until then, we have to find our offense through our defense in a lot of ways.”
The Hornets made just nine of their 40 3-point attempts (22.5%) while Toronto was 15 of 35 from deep (42.9%).
Miles Bridges scored a team-high 25 points for Charlotte, adding six rebounds and five assists. Terry Rozier had 20 points and six assists while LaMelo Ball — announced Monday as an NBA All-Star reserve selection — had 15 points and nine assists.
“We just have to stay positive. Everybody else is being negative around us, and I know the fans are upset,” Bridges said. “Everybody else around us supporting us is upset. We’ve got to stay positive and we are going to find our way.”
Gordon Hayward played just six minutes before leaving the game with an ankle injury that he suffered when Trent fell on his leg during a loose-ball sequence. Borrego said Hayward’s status will be announced soon.
“It didn’t look good when he came off the floor,” Borrego said, “but I’m hopeful and we’ll see where we land tomorrow.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. and PJ Washington combined for 70 total minutes, extending their normal workloads in the absence of the team’s starting small forward. Oubre posted 17 points and six rebounds, and Washington had 15 points and nine rebounds.
“When we make shots, we win games, so it’s as simple as that,” Washington said. “We have to guard and continue being disciplined on the defensive end. Like I said, offense will come. We just have to stick with it. We know we are a talented group and we have a lot of pieces.”
Charlotte will look to snap its losing streak on Wednesday when the Chicago Bulls (33-21) visit Spectrum Center.