National Basketball Association
Charlotte at Toronto
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Raptors have picked a great time to match their longest winning streak of the season and they have a chance to stretch it even further when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. Behind DeMar DeRozan's 36 points, the Raptors topped visiting Orlando 131-112 on Monday to record their second six-game winning streak of the season.
Although it was a 19-point victory and the team's second-best offensive performance of the season, coach Dwane Casey was focused on the other end of the floor. "We'll take the win, but we can't be happy with our defensive performance, trading baskets like that," Casey told reporters. "Like I told the team, we have bigger goals in mind, and if we're intent on achieving them we've got to have a better mindset than we had tonight defensively." The surge has moved Toronto within a game of third place Washington and 2 1/2 behind second-place Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets' playoff chances took a big hit with a 118-108 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday, which left them three games out of eighth place with eight to play.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), Sportsnet One (Toronto)ABOUT THE HORNETS (33-41):
Tuesday's loss to Milwaukee came in the first of nine straight games to close the season against teams currently holding down a playoff spot or in contention for one - five of which will come on the road. A bright spot in the setback was perhaps the best game for center Frank Kaminsky since he returned from a shoulder injury, as he finished with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting in 28 turnover-free minutes. Star guard Kemba Walker has recorded exactly 10 made field goals in each of his past three games, during which he is averaging 28.3 points on 52.6 percent.ABOUT THE RAPTORS (45-29):
Toronto is eagerly waiting for All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry to return from his wrist injury, but the guards left behind are doing an admirable job filling the gaps. Cory Joseph scored 15 points and handed out a career-high 13 assists versus Orlando, and he is averaging 12.5 points in 18 starts- all but one of which came after Lowry was sidelined. DeRozan is averaging 34 points over his last four games and reserve shooting guard Norman Powell has posted 13.1 points in 22 minutes during March after hitting 4-of-6 from 3-point range in a 16-point effort Monday night.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Toronto has won four straight meetings at home, including a 90-85 triumph on Feb. 15.
2. Hornets C Cody Zeller is 15-for-18 from the floor over a three-game stretch.
3. Raptors F DeMarre Carroll (back) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.PREDICTION:
Raptors 112, Hornets 100
Stats and Records