Gay pushes Raptors past Hornets
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Rudy Gay scored 20 points and John Lucas III netted 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Toronto Raptors pull away from the New Orleans Hornets in a 102-89 victory at Air Canada Centre.
Kyle Lowry recorded 14 points with 10 assists and Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds for the balanced Raptors, who were coming off an impressive overtime victory at Indiana on Friday.
Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez logged 19 and 17 points, respectively, as the Hornets had their two-game win streak snapped.
"Toronto was very tough in the paint," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said, referring to his club getting outscored. 19-8, in second-chance points.
It was 69-66 in favor of the hosts following an evenly-played third quarter, and it stayed back-and-forth until Lucas fueled a 10-2 run with a pair of 3- pointers, the last coming from the left wing for an 89-76 cushion with 6:10 to play.
"Lucas got it going, he was making shots and he did a great job," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said.
Vasquez ended the spurt with a layup, but Gay scored on back-to-back possessions to keep New Orleans at bay, and it was a double-digit affair for the remainder of the contest.
Austin Rivers' 18-foot buzzer-beater ended a first quarter controlled by the Raptors, who connected on 14-of-21 from the field as they jumped out to a 32-21 lead.
The Hornets rode the momentum of Rivers' bucket and scored the first 12 points of the second -- highlighted by two Brian Roberts 3-pointers -- to jump in front.
Lucas ended the three-minute run with a deep make, and Toronto stayed in front at halftime, 50-47.
Hornets guard Eric Gordon shot just 2-of-7 from the field for six points, 11 below his season average ... Gay has scored 20 or more points in his first five games with the Raptors ... Toronto swept the season series and has won the last four meetings.