Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Saturday, December 10th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 11th
Game 3: Friday, February 10th
Game 4: Sunday, April 9th

Raptors 88

(18-32, 9-16 away)

Bobcats 73

(14-37, 10-16 home)

    7:30 PM ET, February 10, 2006

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 23 13 34 1888
    CHA 11 26 17 1973

    Top Performers

    Tor: C. Villanueva 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Cha: M. Carroll 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Stl

    Villanueva scores 24 as Raptors ease past depleted Bobcats

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Furious with his team's first-half performance Friday night, Toronto coach Sam Mitchell ripped into his players at halftime.

    The strategy worked.

    Charlie Villanueva scored 24 points, and All-Star Chris Bosh added 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Raptors over the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats 88-73.

    Mike James scored 18 points for the Raptors, who opened the second half with a 20-2 run to erase a one-point deficit and snapped a two-game losing streak.

    "Coach is always animated, but he was probably a little more animated than normal," guard Morris Peterson said. "He got on some guys and challenged some guys. That's what we needed."

    Matt Carroll scored a career-high 26 points for Charlotte, which shot a franchise-worst 31.8 percent. The Bobcats played without four starters, including their starting backcourt, and had their franchise-record three-game winning streak snapped.

    Brevin Knight sat out because his knee was sore after he ran into a cameraman in Wednesday's win over Philadelphia. Raymond Felton, the only Bobcats player who had not missed a game, was ruled out just before tipoff with a sprained big right toe.

    The Bobcats were already without leading scorer Gerald Wallace (knee), leading rebounder Emeka Okafor (ankle) and rookie Sean May (knee).

    Still, Charlotte led 37-36 at halftime, and Mitchell was upset.

    "He wasn't happy," Villanueva said. "He was angry at the way we played. We just couldn't let (losing to Charlotte) happen."

    Little-used Kevin Burleson was forced to start at point guard for the Bobcats, and even forward Bernard Robinson played some point early on. The Bobcats were out of whack offensively at the start, missing 16 of their first 19 shots in falling behind 23-11 after the first quarter.

    "I think it was obvious how much (Knight and Felton) mean to this team, just controlling the tempo of the game, getting guys shots and doing the little things," Carroll said. "It's definitely a big loss without them in the game."

    To make matters worse, Kareem Rush got into early foul trouble and finished with seven points and six turnovers. Burleson did not score on 0-of-6 shooting.

    "I was excited and I came up there revved up and sometimes I went a little too fast," Burleson said of his first career start. "I was out of sync and the team was out of sync."

    The Bobcats, despite making just nine field goals and shooting 25 percent in the first half, rallied to take a one-point lead on Robinson's two free throws with 5 seconds left.

    But Villanueva hit two 3-pointers, Bosh had two buckets inside and James had two driving layups, one coming off Burleson's turnover, in the decisive spurt to start the second half after Mitchell's tirade.

    "In the third quarter, I thought we executed about as well as we could," Mitchell said.

    The Raptors led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter despite the strong play of Carroll, who hit 5-of-7 3-pointers.

    "I knew I had to be more aggressive without Brevin and Raymond in the game," Carroll said. "I've been waiting to get into a shooting rhythm. Tonight I got into a groove."

    Game notes

    Knowing the Bobcats' injury woes, referee Luis Grillo turned to coach Bernie Bickerstaff prior to tipoff and asked, "Do you want me to dress?" ... Rush, a Missouri product, was surprised his college coach Quin Snyder resigned Friday. "Coach Q was a great coach when I was there," Rush said. "It's unfortunate, but it was probably time for him to leave. A lot of people wanted him out." ... Bosh was still smiling a day after being selected to his first All-Star game. "It means a lot to me," Bosh said. ... Lonny Baxter, acquired Thursday in a trade with Houston, had five points and four rebounds in 12 minutes in his Charlotte debut.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 73
    FGM-FGA 34-70 (.486) 21-66 (.318)
    3PM-3PA 7-24 (.292) 8-21 (.381)
    FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-41 9-39
    Assists 19 11
    Turnovers 23 22
    Steals 10 15
    Blocks 5 0
    Fast Break Points 16 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 20 2

    Top Performers

    Charlie Villanueva Villanueva
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Matt Carroll Carroll
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0