Hornets host skidding Raptors
(Sports Network) – The Toronto Raptors try to end a six-game losing streak
tonight when they visit the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
On Wednesday, Mike James had a game-high 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds
with eight assists for the Raptors. Matt Bonner added 14 points and Charlie
Villanueva contributed 14 points and 11 boards in the loss.
Toronto also lost the services of forward Chris Bosh.
Bosh has missed the past five games with a strained left thumb and won’t lace
up the sneakers any time soon. Bosh, who leads the team in scoring with 22.5
points per game, went down with the injury on March 26 in Milwaukee.
After an evaluation, the All-Star was advised to sit out the remainder of the
season to avoid further damage. Bosh played in 70 games this season and pulled
down 9.2 rebounds per contest. He also recorded 32 double-doubles in 2005-06.
The Raptors have lost three in a row on the road and are 12-25 away from the
Air Canada Centre this season.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City is two games behind the Sacramento Kings for the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Hornets have won four of their last five games, including Wednesday’s
114-109 overtime victory against Golden State. Rookie of the Year candidate
Chris Paul notched a triple-double with 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds
to lead the Hornets.
Speedy Claxton scored 21 points and dished out seven assists, while David West
and Linton Johnson each scored 13 points in the victory. The Hornets are 3-1
in their last four home games and 22-15 as the host in 2005-06.
Friday’s game between Toronto and New Orleans/Oklahoma City is the second and
final meeting of the season.
The Hornets posted a 120-113 double-overtime win over Toronto on April 2. The
Raptors had won five straight in the series before that setback.
Toronto has won three straight after losing its last two at the Hornets.
Cleveland is scheduled to host the Knicks on April 13th in the final contest
of the season between the squads.