Detroit Free Press
National Basketball Association
Preview
Charlotte at Toronto
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, February 28, 2020
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Raptors got a look at how much work they need to do to go from the No 2 team in the Eastern Conference to No. 1 when they dropped a 108-97 home decision to the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. The Raptors will try to get back in the win column when they finish off a four-game homestand by hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Defending-champion Toronto won 17 of 18 before falling on Tuesday while shooting 35.2 percent from the floor and committing 17 turnovers, but the team isn’t getting worried just yet. “Gotta keep being ourselves, learn from it,” All-Star forward Pascal Siakam told reporters. “If you got to do things differently, do them differently and if we don’t, we’ll just continue to play our game. And we all know in the playoffs what it takes and we’ve got to do a better job if you want to take that next step.” The Hornets bounced back from a pair of embarrassing losses, including a 39-point setback at Indiana on Tuesday, by beating the New York Knicks 107-101 on Wednesday. “I’m most proud of the response after last night’s (loss in Indiana),” Charlotte coach James Borrego told reporters. “On a back-to-back, we got beat pretty good (Tuesday). I thought we responded the right way. A very mature, resilient response. Proud of our effort, proud of our resiliency, just how we’ve stuck together through the ups and downs of the season and the ups and downs of this game.”

TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: FS Southwest, Sportsnet One

ABOUT THE HORNETS (20-38): Charlotte fell 115-86 against Brooklyn on Saturday before getting trounced 119-80 at the Pacers but found a better flow to the offense against New York and got a combined 47 points from the starting backcourt duo of Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. Graham had a rough start after the All-Star break, going scoreless on 0-of-7 shooting and managing six points in the loss to Brooklyn on 1-of-10, but was a different player after sitting out to rest on Tuesday and scored 21 points against the Knicks. The Hornets will be shorthanded in the backcourt for the foreseeable future after shooting guard Malik Monk was suspended indefinitely by the NBA on Wednesday for violating the league’s anti-drug program.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (42-16): Toronto wasn’t suggesting any radical changes after watching Serge Ibaka and All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry go a combined 4-of-27 from the floor, including 2-of-17 from beyond the arc, on Tuesday. “Screen a little bit more, maybe screen a little bit harder, play a little faster, a little bit uptempo,” Lowry, who had his jersey retired at Vilanova on Wednesday, told reporters. “But if we hit shots - if I hit a couple threes, Serge hits a couple threes - if we make more threes and space them out a bit more, the game changes a lot.” Ibaka finished with five points in the loss after averaging 21 points over his previous 10 games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Raptors SG Terence Davis scored in double figures in each of the last three contests after totaling four points in the last two games prior to the All-Star break.

2. Charlotte C Cody Zeller (undisclosed) sat out Wednesday and is day-to-day.

3. Toronto crushed the Hornets at home 132-96 on Nov. 18 but needed overtime to claim a 112-110 win at Charlotte on Jan. 8.

PREDICTION: Raptors 124, Hornets 110
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Charlotte 20-38 W1 9-18 11-20 1-5 19-33 1-6 14-22
Toronto 42-16 L1 23-8 19-8 4-1 38-15 8-4 30-9
Last Meeting
Charlotte Toronto
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/8/20 TOR 112 CHA 110 110 50 44.2 112 46 44.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte T. Rozier 27 37.5 4
Toronto T. Davis 23 50.0 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte P. Washington 12 0 12
Toronto T. Davis 11 1 10
Assists Player  
Charlotte M. Monk 7
Toronto P. McCaw 11
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Charlotte D. Graham 1067 37.9 179
Toronto P. Siakam 1164 46.4 199
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Charlotte C. Zeller 408 150 258
Toronto S. Ibaka 402 107 295
Assists Player  
Charlotte D. Graham 453
Toronto K. Lowry 359
Quickchart Matchup
Charlotte Charlotte Off vs  Toronto Toronto Defense
Charlotte Off vs Toronto - Points For 102.3 Points For
Charlotte Off vs Toronto - Points Against 106.1 Points Against
Charlotte - FG% 43.2 FG%
Toronto - FG% 42.6 FG%
Charlotte - Reb 42.8 Reb
Toronto - Reb 46.4 Reb
Toronto Toronto Off vs  Charlotte Charlotte Defense
Toronto Off vs Charlotte - Points For 113.0 Points For
Toronto Off vs Charlotte - Points Against 110.0 Points Against
Toronto - FG% 46.0 FG%
Charlotte - FG% 47.8 FG%
Toronto - Reb 45.5 Reb
Charlotte - Reb 46.2 Reb