Pascal Siakam put up 22 points and 14 rebounds and the visiting Toronto Raptors used a big third-quarter burst to run away from the Charlotte Hornets in a 120-100 victory Tuesday night.
Siakam has led the Raptors in scoring in all four meetings with Charlotte this season as Toronto swept the season series.
Reserves Chris Boucher and Will Barton racked up 21 and 20 points, respectively, for Toronto. OG Anunoby had 17 points, Fred VanVleet added 16 points and Jakob Poeltl provided 10 points and nine rebounds as Toronto rolled in a two-game set after winning Sunday in the same arena.
The Raptors (40-39) were playing their first game since securing a spot in the NBA postseason play-in round, but they are aiming to improve their status in the Eastern Conference.
Bryce McGowens led Charlotte with 20 points, Nick Richards had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Svi Mykhailiuk notched 17 points, Theo Maledon supplied 13 points and 11 assists and JT Thor had 13 points.
The Hornets (26-54) have lost three games in a row, with player availability seemingly declining by the day. Rookie center Mark Williams rejoined the injury list with a sprained ankle.
Charlotte counted on 3-point shooting to stay within range, hitting 11 of 24 long-range attempts through three quarters.
But Toronto ended the third quarter on a 14-0 run for a 94-75 lead. The Hornets were scoreless in the last 3:48 of the quarter after James Bouknight’s 3-pointer.
20 PIECE FOR BARTON 🔥 pic.twitter.com/1xEASk1ipB
—Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 5, 2023
Barton posted the first five points of the fourth quarter as Charlotte’s scoring drought extended to nearly six minutes before Mykhailiuk made a shot.
The Raptors used a 36-20 second-quarter edge to move to a 61-49 lead at the half behind 14 points from Boucher and 13 points from Siakam.
Toronto had an 18-2 run in the second quarter to surge into the lead. Barton drained four 3-pointers in the quarter.
The Hornets led by as many as nine points in the first quarter and by nine with nine minutes to play in the first half. Their numbers still looked good at halftime, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and holding a 23-18 rebounding advantage.
But the Raptors ended the night shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from 3-point range, compared to 46.8 percent and 38.7 percent, respectively, for the Hornets.
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