Buzzer beaters are rare, whether you are talking about a key game in a playoff series, or, a December regular season matchup against the Hornets. So, after trailing by as many as 16 points, the Raptors came all the way back to tie it up in the fourth, forced a turnover on the defensive end, and then this happened:
Raptors call timeout, thereby wiping out potential DeMar DeRozan game-winner pic.twitter.com/wILEE9CXZO— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 18, 2015
"The one time Dwane Casey had a timeout left!" I said to myself. And then, I got upset that we wasted a rare DeRozan three-pointer. Robbed of a thrilling comeback win, the Raptors couldn't overcome the duo of Jeremy Lin (moved into the starting lineup with Nicolas Batum out with an injury) and Kemba Walker, falling 109-99.
Heading into tonight's game, this felt like a winnable matchup on the schedule, especially with the Hornets on the second half of a back-to-back and shorthanded. But, strange things always seem to happen to the Raptors in Charlotte and that trend continued tonight. Kyle Lowry -- who finished with 20 points on 6-for-29 shooting -- and Patrick Patterson combined to shoot 0-for-14 from the field in the first half as the Raptors trailed by 12 after two quarters.
Bismack Biyombo broke out several Mutombo finger wags in the first half, and in his return to Charlotte, played a splendid game, scoring eight points and grabbing 18 rebounds. Also, this was one of his seven (!) blocks on the night:
Thanks to DeRozan's 31 points, and aided by the Hornets shooting 16.7 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, the Raptors were able to come back, but Lin's season-high 35 points, Kemba's 27 and P.J. Hairston adding 14 points was a little too much to overcome, especially after the almost buzzer beater was nullified.
So, the Raptors drop their second straight on the road and now head to Miami tomorrow hoping to avoid an 0-3 road trip.
What did everybody think?