Rozier hits tiebreaking FT, Hornets beat Raptors 99-96

TORONTO (AP) — Terry Rozier hit a tiebreaking free throw with 2.1 seconds remaining and the Charlotte Hornets beat Toronto 99-96 on Friday night, handing the Raptors their second consecutive loss and third in 20 games.

Bismack Biyombo had 13 points and 11 rebounds against his former team, and Devonte Graham scored nine of his 18 in the fourth quarter as the Hornets won their second straight and beat short-handed Toronto for the third time in 10 meetings.

Rozier scored 18 points, Miles Bridges had 17 and P.J. Washington 15 as all five Hornets starters finished in double figures.

Pascal Siakam had 24 points, Norman Powell returned from injury to score 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 21 for Toronto.

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet sat out because of a sore left shoulder, while Serge Ibaka was inactive because of a sore left knee.

Toronto, which lost 108-97 to NBA-leading Milwaukee on Tuesday, dropped back-to-back games for the first time since losing at Indiana on Dec. 23 and at home to Boston on Christmas Day.

It’s just the fourth time this season the defending champions have dropped consecutive games. Toronto lost three in a row between Dec. 3 and 8, losing at home to Miami and Houston before a defeat in Philadelphia.

Powell returned to the starting lineup after missing nine games because of a broken finger on his left hand. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started for Ibaka, but fouled out with four points. Hollis-Jefferson missed six of eight field goal attempts but had nine rebounds.

Down 73-66 through three quarters, Toronto took its first lead of the second half on Lowry’s 3-pointer with 2:29 remaining. Lowry’s big shot came after the Raptors grabbed the rebound on their All-Star guard’s missed free throw.

Rozier answered with a 3, and Graham made one of two at the line to push Charlotte’s lead to 93-90. Lowry connected from deep again to tie it, then scored on a driving layup to give the Raptors a 95-93 lead with 1:14 remaining.

Bridges hit a 3 for the Hornets, but Lowry tied it again by making the second of two free throws.

After a missed shot by Graham, Toronto had two chances to break the tie, but Powell and Lowry both missed, giving the Hornets the ball with 2.1 seconds to play. Hollis-Jefferson fouled Rozier before the ball was inbounded, and the Hornets guard broke the tie by making one free throw.

Charlotte kept the ball and Siakam fouled Graham, who made both to push the lead to 99-96 with 1.2 seconds left. Powell’s attempted tying shot bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Bridges scored nine points for Charlotte in the first and Graham hit a buzzer-beating 3 as the Hornets led 25-23 after one.

Toronto missed 13 of its first 15 field goal attempts in the second and shot a dismal 6 for 27 in the quarter. Charlotte led 52-41 at halftime.

Siakam scored 14 points in the third, making five of eight attempts, but the Hornets still led 73-66 heading to the fourth.


Hornets: Outrebounded the Raptors 58-45. … The Hornets had an 18-9 edge in bench points.

Raptors: C Marc Gasol (left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game. . F Patrick McCaw returned after missing three games because of flu-like symptoms. . Powell returned to practice Thursday. He last played in a Jan. 31 victory at Detroit. . Toronto shot 20 for 29 at the free throw line.


Hornets: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

Raptors: Begin a five-game road trip at Denver on Sunday.

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