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Sessions lifts Bobcats past Raptors 98-97

Associated Press Modified: November 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm •  Published: November 21, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Bobcats are off to a fast start so far this season.

Less than three weeks into the season, the surprising Bobcats are a game away from matching last season's win total following a 98-97 victory Wednesday night over the Toronto Raptors.

Ramon Sessions hit a 16-footer with 28 seconds left and the Bobcats made a late defensive stand to win for the fifth time in six games to run their record to 6-4 matching the franchise's best start.

The Bobcats were an NBA-worst 7-59 last season.

To put this season's impressive start in perspective, it took the Bobcats 40 games last season before winning their sixth game.

This season the Bobcats continue to find ways to win close games, running their record to 5-0 in games decided by four points or fewer.

As they've done all season, the Bobcats did it with defense.

Toronto had four shots to win it in their final possession, but two shots were blocked — one by Jeffery Taylor and the other by Bismack Biyombo — and Andrea Bargnani's baseline jumper fell short as time expired.

Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap called the defensive stand "two-thirds willpower and one-third technique."

"We were trying to switch everything, but at the end, coach said just stay with your man," Biyombo said. "We had to make quick decisions and I think we made pretty quick decisions and we did a pretty good job as a team. It was just big time."

Kemba Walker had 19 points and seven assists for the Bobcats, while Sessions and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 14 points. Walker and Sessions have both scored in double digits in all 10 games.

Bargnani had 25 points and Kyle Lowry added 21 for the Raptors. Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bobcats won despite shooting 42 percent from the field and 15 percent from the 3-point range.

"We won ugly tonight, but it doesn't really matter," Dunlap said.

The Bobcats got some quality minutes from Biyombo, who's not typically known for his offensive prowess. The second-year forward had six of his 11 points in the third quarter, including a powerful dunk over Bargnani after battling for control of an offensive rebound.

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