HORNETS 99, RAPTORS 96–What they said: “We had great looks. It’s two games in a row we’ve struggled shooting. We were minus Freddie tonight, minus Serge tonight and again without Marc. Norm gave us a big boost coming in. Pascal missed a couple. We have to be a little bit better offensively, but I think we got great shots. We just missed a lot. In the last two games we’ve missed a lot of shots.” –KYLE LOWRY.

(21-38) CHARLOTTE HORNETS, 99 VS. (42-17) TORONTO RAPTORS, 96 SCOTIABANK ARENA FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2020

TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES

NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)

How did the shooting woes tonight impact the game? We put ourselves in a position to win; we sure did. We did put ourselves in a position to win, even though we didn’t shoot it very well, we were dominating the fourth quarter. We had our chances.

How did you see that last play? I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it. I was looking at something else.

What do you think of the team’s play with several players missing? It was difficult. The glass was hard. They were pounding us pretty hard on the glass. I thought, again, the big thing when you’re shifting around a lot is it’s going to look disjointed at times and it did. I thought we found some chemistry. I always say it will grow during the game even though it’s only one game. It will grow it a little bit. I thought we found some things and they made some big shots down the stretch. We bottled them up really well and they threw some deep ones and the ball sure bounced their way. We made some really good defensive plays that didn’t turn out very good for us.

Did you plan to play Norman that much? I didn’t think those guys on the bench were what they needed to be tonight. It was hard. There was nothing from Terence and Matt. Chris had a good second stint. It was hard. I ran a lot of those guys a lot of minutes. I would’ve liked to have balanced that out a little bit, but I didn’t feel like we could. I just didn’t think we could.

What did you think of Norman’s play? Yeah, I thought he was good. I think it was tough for him. I think the conditioning probably was tough, but he played great, I thought. He looked pretty good out there.

How hard was it to overcome the lack of size on the boards? It was problematic for a while. It felt like we were giving up some offensive rebounds, but I’m not so sure we didn’t do a pretty good job. They were hard to get. Every defensive rebound we got was like a battle down there. I think we did a pretty good job. We got most of them. We did give up some; it just looked like a challenge. It probably wears on you a little bit when you’re having to work that hard just to keep all those guys living in the paint off the glass a little bit.

PASCAL SIAKAM (24 points, nine rebounds and four assists)

On a tough night offensively… Obviously I was missing everything; layups, free throws, I mean something was going on, threes. At the same time we put ourselves in a position to be in the game and gave ourselves an opportunity to win.

Were you happy with the looks you were getting? Yeah, I think we had pretty good looks. I think in the second half we got a little better. At the same time, we couldn’t get in rhythm. It’s hard to play like that. Our defence was pretty good. We got stops. We shot a lot of free throws. I think overall, when shots are not falling we have to find other ways. We did a decent job of staying in the game and having an opportunity to win.

Did you decide in the second half to work the basket? I had to do something. It’s not like I shot a lot of threes. I think I shot five threes. I was just missing a lot of layups. I was just like, “I’m just going to keep driving. Whatever happens, happens.” Obviously, we missed a lot of free throws. I’m not happy about that. At the same time, it was one of those games and you’ve got to continue to find ways to impact the game. Find ways to continue to play. It happens. It’s just one of those games. We have to continue to get better. We know that. We just flush this one out. We try to go out in the next one and play better.

KYLE LOWRY (21 points, six assists, six rebounds)

Was it a matter of shots not falling tonight? We had great looks. It’s two games in a row we’ve struggled shooting. We were minus Freddie tonight, minus Serge tonight and again without Marc. Norm gave us a big boost coming in. Pascal missed a couple. We have to be a little bit better offensively, but I think we got great shots. We just missed a lot. In the last two games we’ve missed a lot of shots.

Did the lack of size hurt on the board tonight? I think we need our bigs there. I think Rondae did a great job of trying to battle. We just didn’t have the complete effort tonight.

On losing back-to-back games… No. It hurts. You don’t want to ever lose, but we gotta grow from it. We’ve got to learn from it. We’ve got a big trip coming up for us to kind of get back to being a team, being a group and being together. This is a great chance for us to get out there on the road and take it day-by-day and game-by-game.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS QUOTES

JAMES BORREGO (HEAD COACH)

On the defensive and rebounding effort tonight… It was one of our best defensive performances and rebounding games of the season. Very hostile environment, they are a fantastic team, a well-coached team; they know what they are doing. So this is a big time win for us. To hold them to 34 percent shooting the ball and 47 defensive rebounds, our goal is 35, so fantastic job, great effort on both ends of the floor.

On what you said to the team in the third quarter timeout when the Raptors were making a run… To just get back to how we were playing earlier and it really just starts one possession at a time. Don’t think about what just happened, let’s move forward and play the next possession. I think with a young team that’s really important. You can get unraveled, and we’ve had a few of these moments this season where a team is on a run and then we don’t stop it. We let an eight point run become a ten, twelve, fifteen point run and we just talked about playing the next possession. Making shots always helps. Our guys hit some big shots to break some of those momentum segments for Toronto. Give our young group a lot of credit.

On the team performance… I would say this is our most complete game end to end. We had a good win in Dallas a bit ago, it feels like ages ago, but I felt for the most part from end to end we were in this game. We were fighting, even though we had a few hiccups along the way, this was probably our most complete 48 minute game of the season.

TERRY ROZIER (18 points, six assists, six rebounds)

On tonight’s win… I (have) never won here in my five years. I always got beat by at least 20 or more, so it was just good to get the win for myself and for our team. We needed this. We won (our) last game, so we’re just looking to keep building. It’s a special team this group that we just played against, so every time we get a chance to beat a special team (it) makes us feel good.

On tonight’s defence… I feel like we were in there. We helped each other out. We showed bodies. We showed length from the beginning of the game. We showed it all 48 minutes. Obviously they got guys, like (Pascal) Siakam, who’s special, (Kyle) Lowry, who makes special plays, and like I said, they’ve got a great group. We just dug deep and we just stayed with it and we pulled it out.

On shooting the technical foul shots… You have to tune all that (noise) out. I shoot at least 100 free throws a day when there’s nobody in the gym, so you just try to keep that mindset and just treat it like there’s no one there. I was able to ice the game, but like I said, that just comes with repetition (and) being in the gym shooting a lot of free throws.

P.J. WASHINGTON (15 points, nine rebounds)

What was Bismack Biyombo’s message to everyone in that timeout? Just keep playing. Guys were kind of getting down on themselves and he just said … keep playing and keep fighting. We’re in the place we want to be and (there’s) not a lot of time left, but we still have a chance to win this one.

On tonight’s win… I think it says a lot because we stayed together and kept fighting. Even though they came back in the game making shots, we still kept our composure and came out there and just continued to play. I think that was big for us going forward.

BISMACK BIYOMBO (13 points, 11 rebounds)

What does tonight’s win say about this young group? I think our young guys are growing in general. We’re playing team basketball. Guys are trusting each other. Obviously we are going to continue to make mistakes. That’s part of this journey … We stuck together. Obviously through the tough times when they made their run, we still found a way to control the game. Toronto is a great team. They are a championship team, so for us it was a good challenge. We were able to learn from this, grow, and obviously we will watch more film tomorrow and correct our mistakes and continue to move forward.

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