Raptors drop Hornets
Raptors 94, Hornets 77

By Darnell Mayberry Published: November 29, 2006
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Desmond Mason refused to concede that the reason behind the Hornets early season struggles stem from them being a less scrappy bunch than they were last year.

So, too, did Rasual Butler.

Hornets coach Byron Scott, on the other hand, always can be counted on to tell it like it is.

After watching the Toronto Raptors become the second straight team to walk into the Ford Center and outplay the Hornets from start to finish, emphatically thumping the home team, 94-77, Scott had no choice but to point to his team's obvious lack of desire and toughness.

"One thing we did last year was show our resiliency," Scott said. "We aren't showing that right now. We are submitting and hoping that a team gives us a win. Or we are feeling sorry for ourselves because we are missing two of our key players."

Either way, the Hornets dropped their fourth-straight game and suffered their second consecutive defeat inside the Ford Center after starting the season 4-0 at home. Following a league-best 4-0 start, the Hornets finished the month at 8-7.

Tuesday night's loss marked the fourth consecutive game in which they failed to score more than 83 points. The team's 41.6 percent shooting rate sadly marked its highest shooting rate in the past four games.

"It's funny, because everybody says we're less scrappy now when we lose a couple of games," Mason said. "But when we were winning games, that's not the issue. The thing is we just have to get back to our basketball. It's got nothing to do with not being scrappy."

Said Butler: "I can't agree with that. I think we're scrappy this year. We're a better defensive team. We're getting more stops consistently. Maybe tonight we didn't carry our intensity over for the entire 48 minutes of the game. But I wouldn't say that we're not as hungry as we were last year."

You couldn't tell from Tuesday's performance.

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Box score
Photo gallery
Ex-Cowboy Graham scores 14 off bench
Notes


The Hornet’ Tyson Chandler, left, slams the ball during the Hornets’ loss at the Ford Center on Tuesday. Chandler scored six points and added 17 rebounds. by NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

Player of the game
Toronto forward Chris Bosh scored 19 points with 14 rebounds in 31 minutes. Bosh scored 11 of his points in the third quarter to help the Raptors outscore the Hornets 23-14 in the period and take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Play of the game
The game was over when Raptors forward Jose Calderon hit a 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining in the third quarter to give Toronto an 11-point lead. Chris Bosh later made two free throws, and the Hornets never pulled closer than 13.

By Darnell Mayberry

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