New Orleans Hornets
11:30 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Hornets Lose in OT to Raptors, 104-97

The Hornets fell to the Toronto Raptors in overtime at the New Orleans Arena on Friday night, 104-97, despite an inspiring fourth quarter rally.

The Raptors set the tempo in the extra period, holding the Hornets to 18% shooting. Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, with 31.7 seconds to play, iced the game with a 21-foot jumper, sending the crowd to the exits.

New Orleans, hoping to win their second straight, started the game strong, taking an early 8-1 lead. The Hornets led the entire first quarter, shooting 55.6% and keeping Toronto to 33% from the field. But the contest began to slip away from the Bees in the second quarter when they began to commit turnovers and unnecessary shooting fouls. The Hornets trailed 48-42 at the half.

New Orleans stayed with the Raptors in the third, with both teams scoring 22 points.

The Bees then rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Raptors 21-8 in the last 6:00 of regulation. Ryan Anderson launched a three with 8 seconds left and, with the help of a home court bounce, tied the game at 91.

But New Orleans couldn’t keep up in the extra period.

“The energy we expended to come back in the fourth may have hurt us in overtime,” Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams said after the game. “You have to tip your hat to [the Raptors]. They did what they needed to do in overtime. We got a basket and they got two back to answer.”

The Hornets’ Greivis Vasquez was only one rebound away from his first career triple double. He scored 20 points, had 14 assists and snagged nine rebounds. But Vasquez also mishandled the ball 6 times, contributing to the Hornets’ 17 total turnovers on the night.

New Orleans forward Jason Smith said after the game that they just couldn’t get stops in overtime. “They played a great game and they played a physical game, aggressive to the rim. They got to the free throw line a lot. It’s something we have to get better at.”

Anthony Davis scored 25 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. This marks the fourth time this season he has recorded more than 20 points.

Williams also commented on Davis’ strong play tonight. “Once he gets stronger, it’s going to be game time,” Williams said. “He’s starting to figure out how to use his quickness to get to the basket, and he’s starting to make jump shots. In the stretch that we got back in the game, he was phenomenal and helped our guards. When he plays that way our city will be proud of the production out of him over the next three or four years. He will be special.”

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors’ scoring with 30 points. Toronto’s subs outscored the Hornets’ bench, 49-31.

The Raptors (10-20) have won five of their last six.

The Hornets (6-23) head to Charlotte tomorrow to face the Bobcats (7-22). It is possible that long-injured guard Eric Gordon could make his season debut tomorrow night.

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