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DeRozan scores 19 points, Raptors beat Hornets 103-98

TORONTO (AP) After three double-digit losses to Toronto, the Charlotte Hornets finally turned in a strong performance against the Raptors.

Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to beat the Eastern Conference leaders.

DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 13 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Hornets 103-98 on Sunday night, Toronto's 11th win in 12 games.

Ahead by 13 points to begin the fourth quarter, Toronto saw its lead dwindle to two before DeRozan and Lowry made key 3-pointers.

''It wasn't a pretty game,'' Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. ''Last year we probably would have lost that game, but we were mature enough to make plays, the right plays.''

Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and Lowry had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors completed their first season sweep of Charlotte since 2006-07. Toronto improved to 26-5 at Air Canada Centre, the best home record in the NBA.

''They're playing as well as anyone in our league at this point,'' Hornets guard Kemba Walker said. ''They move the ball really well, they trust each other.''

Fred VanVleet and C.J. Miles each scored 12 points for the Raptors, who have won four straight since an overtime loss to Milwaukee on Feb. 23.

Walker scored 27 points and Dwight Howard had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who lost their third straight, all on the road. Charlotte is 10-21 away from home.

Jeremy Lamb scored 16 points, Frank Kaminsky had 15 and Nicolas Batum added 10.

Despite the outcome, Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he liked what he saw in the final quarter.

''Purposeful offense, smart play, and very good defense,'' Clifford said. ''That's what we're capable of. If we are serious about making a run here, that's what we're capable of.''

The Hornets are 5.5 games behind Miami for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 18 games remaining.

''We need to build on what happened here tonight in the fourth quarter,'' Clifford said.

A downcast Walker wasn't as encouraged as his coach.

''We lost,'' Walker said. ''That's all I'm really looking at right now until we watch the film.''

Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored the game's opening basket but the Hornets never led again.

The Hornets cut the deficit to two, 88-86, on a three-point play by Lamb with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter. Lowry answered with a 3 for Toronto and, after Walker split a pair at the line, DeRozan added a corner 3, giving Toronto a 93-87 lead with 3:22 remaining.

''We just tried to do what we could to stay in the game and win it down the stretch but those guys are really good,'' Walker said. ''They just made plays.''

This was the first time in four meetings with Charlotte this season that the Raptors failed to score at least 120 points. Toronto had won the past three meetings this season by 13 points or more.

TIP-INS

Hornets: F-C Cody Zeller returned after missing the previous two games because of a sore left knee. He fouled out with six points. ... G-F Dwayne Bacon missed the game with an illness. ... Michael Carter-Williams returned in the third quarter after suffering a sprained left shoulder in the second.

Raptors: F OG Anunoby (sprained right ankle) missed his second straight game. ''It's not going to be a long-term thing,'' Casey said of Anunoby's injury. Malcolm Miller made his first career start.

CRIME SPREE

Batum has at least one steal in 11 consecutive games, the longest streak of his career.

AS GOOD AS OVER

The Raptors are 39-1 when they lead through three quarters. The lone exception was a Dec. 11 road defeat to the Clippers in which Toronto led 74-70 after three.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Open a three-game homestand against the 76ers on Tuesday. Charlotte lost at Philadelphia last Friday, their first meeting of the season. The teams play three more times before April 2.

Raptors: Host Atlanta on Tuesday. Toronto has won its past three meetings with the Hawks.

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Key Players
K. Walker
15 PG
D. DeRozan
10 SG
34.0 Min. Per Game 34.0
23.7 Pts. Per Game 23.7
5.2 Ast. Per Game 5.2
3.9 Reb. Per Game 3.9
43.3 Field Goal % 46.2
43.3 Three Point % 46.2
84.9 Free Throw % 82.5
  Defensive rebound by Kyle Lowry 0:02
  Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:02
+ 1 Kyle Lowry made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:04
+ 1 Kyle Lowry made 1st of 2 free throws 0:04
  Personal foul on Cody Zeller 0:04
+ 1 Jeremy Lamb made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:06
+ 1 Jeremy Lamb made 1st of 2 free throws 0:06
  Personal foul on Fred VanVleet 0:06
  Defensive rebound by Nicolas Batum 0:10
  Fred VanVleet missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:11
+ 1 Fred VanVleet made 1st of 2 free throws 0:11
Team Stats
Points 98 103
Field Goals 32-85 (37.6%) 35-83 (42.2%)
3-Pointers 5-21 (23.8%) 12-41 (29.3%)
Free Throws 29-35 (82.9%) 21-27 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 56 57
Offensive 9 9
Defensive 37 41
Team 10 7
Assists 16 22
Steals 7 5
Blocks 4 9
Turnovers 9 15
Fouls 21 28
Technicals 2 0
27 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
19 PTS, 4 REB, 8 AST
1234T
away team logo Hornets 28-36 2122262998
home team logo Raptors 45-17 26263021103
Team Stats
away team logo Hornets 28-36 113.9 PPG 43.8 RPG 23.9 APG
home team logo Raptors 45-17 115.6 PPG 45.8 RPG 25.5 APG
Key Players
K. Walker PG 26.0 PPG 4.5 RPG 6.3 APG 43.1 FG%
D. DeRozan SG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
K. Walker PG 27 PTS 6 REB 4 AST
D. DeRozan SG 19 PTS 4 REB 8 AST
37.6 FG% 42.2
23.8 3PT FG% 29.3
82.9 FT% 77.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Walker 38 27 6 4 1 0 1 1 8/23 3/12 8/11 1 5 41 -8
N. Batum 34 10 6 8 1 1 1 1 3/10 0/2 4/4 1 5 33 -3
D. Howard 23 10 10 1 0 1 1 2 4/9 0/0 2/4 2 8 22 -11
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 18 8 4 0 0 0 1 3 4/7 0/0 0/1 1 3 11 -12
M. Williams 21 2 4 0 0 1 1 0 1/6 0/3 0/0 1 3 6 -10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Walker 38 27 6 4 1 0 1 1 8/23 3/12 8/11 1 5 41 -8
N. Batum 34 10 6 8 1 1 1 1 3/10 0/2 4/4 1 5 33 -3
D. Howard 23 10 10 1 0 1 1 2 4/9 0/0 2/4 2 8 22 -11
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 18 8 4 0 0 0 1 3 4/7 0/0 0/1 1 3 11 -12
M. Williams 21 2 4 0 0 1 1 0 1/6 0/3 0/0 1 3 6 -10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Lamb 26 16 1 2 1 1 3 5 5/11 1/3 5/5 0 1 20 +8
F. Kaminsky 26 15 4 0 1 0 0 2 3/10 1/1 8/8 1 3 20 +5
C. Zeller 24 6 7 0 1 0 0 6 3/4 0/0 0/0 2 5 14 +6
M. Carter-Williams 18 4 4 1 2 0 1 1 1/5 0/0 2/2 0 4 11 0
T. Graham 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
J. Stone - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Paige - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Mathiang - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Bacon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Monk - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 98 46 16 7 4 9 21 32/85 5/21 29/35 9 37 178 -25
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. DeRozan 35 19 4 8 1 0 2 2 7/17 2/7 3/5 0 4 38 +14
J. Valanciunas 29 18 13 0 1 2 4 2 8/15 2/3 0/0 4 9 30 +9
S. Ibaka 30 17 8 0 1 3 0 5 6/9 3/5 2/3 2 6 29 +6
K. Lowry 34 14 10 5 0 0 3 4 5/13 2/8 2/2 3 7 31 +6
M. Miller 13 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 1 1 +5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. DeRozan 35 19 4 8 1 0 2 2 7/17 2/7 3/5 0 4 38 +14
J. Valanciunas 29 18 13 0 1 2 4 2 8/15 2/3 0/0 4 9 30 +9
S. Ibaka 30 17 8 0 1 3 0 5 6/9 3/5 2/3 2 6 29 +6
K. Lowry 34 14 10 5 0 0 3 4 5/13 2/8 2/2 3 7 31 +6
M. Miller 13 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 1 1 +5
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
F. VanVleet 23 12 3 3 0 0 4 2 3/8 1/4 5/6 0 3 17 -4
C. Miles 19 12 2 1 0 0 1 2 4/12 2/9 2/2 0 2 15 +1
P. Siakam 17 7 2 0 1 1 0 3 2/3 0/1 3/3 0 2 11 -6
D. Wright 13 4 1 4 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 4/6 0 1 13 -8
L. Nogueira 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 4 +3
N. Powell 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 2 2 +3
J. Poeltl 13 0 3 0 0 3 1 4 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 5 -4
L. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Richardson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Anunoby - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. McKinnie - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 103 50 22 5 9 15 28 35/83 12/41 21/27 9 41 196 +25