ck, you couldn't tell from the past week.
Granted, the Hornets were without Peja Stojakovic (back spasms) and David West (right elbow), their second- and third-leading scorers. But the Raptors entered the game at just 4-9, the fourth-worst record in the Eastern Conference. So you'd think the Hornets would pounce on an inferior team and play with more urgency after three straight losses, right?
The Hornets lost their last lead 33 seconds into the second quarter and trailed by as many as 21 points. Behind Toronto forward Chris Bosh's 11 third-quarter points, the Raptors outscored the Hornets 23-14 in the period to turn a four-point halftime lead into a 13-point advantage to start the final quarter.
"They outworked us from the beginning of the game to the end of the game," Scott said. "We were fortunate to be down by four points at halftime. The third quarter was just a snowball of what probably should have happened in the first half."
Without West, who missed his eighth straight game, and Stojakovic, who missed his second straight game, the Hornets continued to look for answers on offense. Guard Chris Paul scored a team-high 16 points but needed 16 shots to do so. He also finished with a game-high 11 assists. Butler, starting in place of Stojakovic, scored 13 and Mason was the only other Hornet in double-figure scoring with 10.
The Hornets were outscored 45-32 in the second half.
"I can stomach losing," Scott said. "But it's the way we're losing that I can't stomach. I can stomach guys going out there and playing as hard as they can and we lose the game. I don't have a problem with that.
"But we're losing games by not giving the type of maximum effort that I know we can give. We're getting paid maximum money, I expect maximum effort."