Bobcats 101 Raptors 96
TORONTO — The losses continue to mount for the Toronto Raptors.
Stephen Jackson had 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday as the Charlotte Bobcats came back for a 101-96 victory to hand the Raptors their sixth defeat in a row.
Jackson stripped Bargnani with five seconds left and the Bobcats clinging to a three-point edge, then sealed it with a pair of free throws. The Raptors are on their worst slide since a dropping seven in a row from Feb. 27 to March 13, 2009.
“I just lost the ball, there are no other words to describe it,” Bargnani said.
Bargnani finished with 23 points while Sonny Weems added 20 in 37 minutes off the bench and Amir Johnson finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.
“That’s one of those plays that you hope you get it, if you don’t, you made a bad decision, if you do, you’re the hero,” Jackson said of the key steal. “(Bargnani) had been killing us all game and I just wanted to make it uncomfortable and thank God I was able to get my hands on the ball.”
Jackson said it was the cleanest strip he has made.
“In my life,” he said. “It was my fingertip. I barely got my hand on it.”
The Raptors dropped to 1-7, to the dismay of the announced crowd of 14,039 at Air Canada Centre.
“I think we had a few mishaps on the defensive end,” Weems said. “Their guys beat us to the rim and they got momentum. Yeah, it’s getting old. We have to change it around real quick or I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Gerald Wallace added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats (2-6) while D.J. Augustin had 16.
Each team committed 17 turnovers but the Raptors gave up 21 points on theirs, eight more than the Bobcats.
“I think in transition we just have five guys in the break and sometimes it gets too congested,” said Raptors coach Jay Triano. “We have five guys running the floor and everybody gets excited and trying to run, it gets crowded and we end up turning it over and they throw it the other way because there is a guy behind the play at the other end.
“The energy level is good, we’re trying to make something happen, sometimes we end up turning it over and goes right back.”
The game was tied 48-48 at the half and the Raptors took a 74-69 lead in the fourth quarter.
But the Bobcats came back and a hook shot by Boris Diaw with 3:04 left made it 93-89 for Charlotte.
DeMar DeRozan’s dunk with 2:35 left cut the lead to two, but the Bobcats were back up by three points with 1:03 to go after a dunk and a pair of free throws by Thomas.
Bargnani missed a three-point attempt but the Raptors got the rebound and Bargnani made a lay-up to cut the lead to one. But with 12.7 seconds left, Thomas made two free throws to put Charlotte into a 99-96 lead.
Two of the Raptors starting forwards had injury problems.
Linas Kleiza, who is struggling with an Achilles injury, played 17 minutes and had four points and picked up four fouls. Reggie Evans played 30 minutes and had 10 rebounds and two points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a bruised left hip.
Jarrett Jack had 14 points and five assists and Calderon came off the bench to score four points with a team-high nine assists. DeRozan had four points but picked up five fouls.
Notes: The Raptors were without forward David Andersen (flu) and guard Leandro Barbosa (shoulder)…Bobcats broadcaster Dell Curry played 194 games over three seasons (1999-02) with the Raptors. His son, Stephen Curry, scored an opponent season-high 34 points Monday against the Raptors in Golden State’s 109-102 win.