Bobcats 116 Raptors 81
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gerald Wallace is finally starting to hit some shots. Stephen Jackson is beginning to figure out his teammates.
The combination produced a record-setting win and a confident Charlotte locker-room.
Wallace broke out of his shooting slump Wednesday night to score 31 points and grab 13 rebounds and Jackson added 23 points as the Bobcats routed the Toronto Raptors 116-81 for the most lopsided victory in franchise history.
With their offence suddenly coming together this week, the Bobcats won their second straight game following a seven-game skid in a fashion never seen in the team’s six years. Charlotte’s previous largest margin of victory was 32 points against Indiana on Nov. 16, 2005.
“This was our best game so far,” coach Larry Brown said.
With managing partner Michael Jordan looking pleased from his front-row seat, the Bobcats set a season high for points for the second straight game thanks to Wallace, who was 10 for 20 from the field and 11 of 12 from the foul line. He combined with Jackson in Charlotte’s most fluid offensive performance since Jackson’s arrival.
“It’s coming along great,” Wallace said of pairing with Jackson, acquired from Golden State on Nov. 16. “We read and we play off each other. How he goes is how I go and how I go is how he goes. We pick up for each other.”
The Raptors, in another dismal performance to close a back-to-back, proved to be no match.
Chris Bosh had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Andrea Bargnani scored 15 as Toronto shot 35 per cent, set a season low for points and lost for the fifth time in seven games.
“They had quicker hands, quicker feet and were quicker up and down the floor,” said Raptors coach Jay Triano.
The Bobcats had been mired in an offensive slumber, even after Jackson’s arrival. Before his fifth game with Charlotte on Wednesday, Brown seemed concerned.
“There’s a lot more he’s capable of doing,” Brown said before tipoff. “We’ve got to find a way to help him out.”
Wallace, too, had underachieved offensively. Entering the game as the surprising third-leading rebounder in the NBA, he was shooting 38 per cent from the field and averaging only 13.7 points.
But he took advantage of one of the NBA’s worst defences by beating numerous defenders off the dribble and getting to the line, while combining with Jackson on the game’s decisive run.
With Charlotte leading 66-59 midway through the third quarter, Jackson fed Boris Diaw to begin a 17-3 spurt full of fast-break hoops.
Wallace hit two free throws, a shot in the lane and had a thunderous one-handed dunk over Amir Johnson that turned into a three-point play. Jackson then dunked on a feed from Wallace, and Wallace later hit two more free throws.
A night after scoring 74 points in the first half en route to a blowout win over Indiana, Toronto managed 35 points in the second half in their lowest scoring output of the season.
And there were many culprits.
While Bosh collected his 13th double-double, he hit only 5-of-14 shots. Hedo Turkoglu managed only five points on 2-of-7 shooting and Jarrett Jack shot 1 for 9 as the Raptors fell to 0-4 on the second night of a back-to-back.
“If I’m open I’ll continue to shoot,” said Bosh, 10-for-33 from the field in the last two games. “I practice that shot all the time. If it doesn’t go in during the games, I can’t worry about that.”
Bosh didn’t get his first field goal until the final minute of the half, but the Raptors trailed only 52-46. Bargnani’s outside shooting and Johnson’s play off the bench kept Toronto in it.
Toronto quickly faded in the second half, when it committed 13 of its 18 turnovers.
Charlotte got a boost inside from Tyson Chandler, who blocked six shots in his return after missing two games with back spasms. And with the Bobcats healthy and starting to figure each other out, there was optimism they could recover from their miserable start.
“Gerald was phenomenal,” Brown said. “I thought everybody that played, played well.”
NOTES: The Bobcats improved to 5-2 at home. They’re 0-7 on the road. … Bobcats G Acie Law was active for the first time in five games since being acquired in the Jackson trade and had two points in 5 minutes. … Raptors F Reggie Evans (foot) was in a walking boot and has yet to play this season.