Posted December 27, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Toronto Raptors' longest winning streak in nearly three years is over. The New Orleans Hornets are hoping they've started a run of their own. Toronto will try to rebound from its first loss in six games Friday night in New Orleans, where the Western Conference-worst Hornets look to build off their first victory in three-plus weeks. The Raptors (9-20) were hoping to arrive in New Orleans on a run of six straight wins, but instead, they're in bounce-back mode after getting routed 100-80 at San Antonio on Wednesday. No starter scored in double figures for Toronto, which surrendered its highest point total in eight games and had its longest win streak since January 2010 come to an end. "It's one game against a really good team," said point guard Jose Calderon, who has started the last seven games in place of Kyle Lowry (triceps). "We lost, so now we've got two big (road games) coming up and that's what we've got to be thinking right now." The Raptors end this trip in Orlando on Saturday and are 2-15 in road games, including losses in all 10 against West opponents by an average of 16.1 points. However, they've won seven of 10 in New Orleans, including a 95-84 victory Feb. 29, and the Hornets (6-22) have lost five in a row at home. New Orleans has averaged 84.3 points during that skid dating to a 102-81 win over Milwaukee on Dec. 3. That game marked the Hornets' only victory this month until Wednesday, when they avoided a franchise record-tying 12th consecutive defeat overall with a 97-94 win in Orlando. They had lost their previous two games by a total of 11 points. "We've been scrapping, but it's just one game," said center Robin Lopez, who has back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career after finishing with a season-best 29 versus the Magic. "We want to string together a few." The Hornets, though, haven't won two straight since Nov. 2-3, and they have one victory in their last 10 at home. "My goal is not to win one game and then let up," coach Monty Williams said. "My mindset is always to win every game we play. I don't care who it is in our lineup, young or whoever the guy is, we're going to try to win games." Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers should make a 10th consecutive start Friday alongside Greivis Vasquez, who had a career-high 27 points Wednesday, but Eric Gordon could make his season debut Saturday at Charlotte following knee surgery. Rivers has averaged 5.3 points on 8-of-31 shooting over the past four games. Top overall pick Anthony Davis, who returned nine games ago after missing 11 with an ankle injury, is averaging 14.2 points and 10.4 rebounds while starting each of the last five contests. Ed Davis and Amir Johnson will have to contend with Davis and Lopez as Raptors rookie center Jonas Valanciunas is expected to be out four to six weeks with a broken ring finger suffered last Friday. Toronto was outrebounded by nine Wednesday without the 20-year-old Lithuanian. Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani will likely miss an eighth consecutive game with a ligament tear in his right elbow, but there's a chance Lowry will return.

Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas To Miss 4-6 Weeks With Broken Finger

Jonas Valanciunas will be out of action for four to six weeks but there was some good news with regard to the fractured metacarpal on the ring finger of his right hand. The good news is no surgery will be required. “He saw a hand specialist,” Raps head coach Dwane Casey said before Wednesday’s game. “But he doesn’t have to have surgery and that’s the main thing, the...

Jose Calderon Will Remain Starter When Kyle Lowry Comes Back

But because of the leadership shown by veteran Jose Calderon, Lowry will come off the bench whenever he gets back. “Jose has earned the position,” Casey said before the game. “Jose has played as well as any point guard we’ve had this year so that’s where it is right now. We’ll see in the next couple of days but right now Jose is the starting point guard and has done a...

Video: Mo Harkless throws down tomahawk jam against Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets won the proverbial bout with the Orlando Magic by a tally of 97-94 on Wednesday night. However, that isn't to say that the Magic didn't get any good punches in.Seen here is Orlando guard Mo Harkless ripping past Hornets rookie Anthony Davis on a fast break and then proceeding to throw down a powerful one-handed dunk on Robin Lopez. This is a play destined...

Valanciunas To Miss 4-6 Weeks With Broken Finger, Will Not Require Surgery

Jonas Valanciunas broke the ring finger on his right hand on Dec. 21.

Monty Williams Predicts Eric Gordon Will Play Saturday

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon could make his much anticipated regular-season debut Saturday on the road against the Charlotte Bobcats. Coach Monty Williams said Gordon continues to make progress and predicted he could play Saturday. “If I had to guess it would be Saturday against Charlotte,’’ Williams said before Wednesday night’s game against...

Matchup of the Game: Spurs vs. Raptors

The matchup of the game between the Toronto Raptors visiting the San Antonio Spurs in their last meeting of the season will be between Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard. The last time these two teams met up, the game ended in an exciting double overtime decision in Toronto. The Spurs were without their starting small forward and top defender...

Gameday Q&A: Spurs vs. Raptors

The San Antonio Spurs (21-8) will host the Toronto Raptors (9-19) tonight in the AT&T Center as the Raptors put their current 5-game winning streak on the line. This will be the Spurs and Raptors final meeting this season. It took double-overtime for the Spurs to beat the Raptors in Toronto last month 111-106. Tony Parker scored six of his 32 points in the second overtime...

Hornets 97, Magic 94

Robin Lopez had a season-high 29 points and Greivis Vasquez scored 27 points as the New Orleans Hornets snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 97-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Orlando had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but came up empty on a 3-point attempt by Nikola Vucevic. The victory was the Hornets' first since Dec. 3 and their...

First-half recap: Spurs vs. Raptors

The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors got things underway at the AT&T Center tonight and in the first half, the Spurs knew this Raptors team was not going to play like their record suggests heading into tonight's contest. Thanks to some timely defense down the stretch of the first-half by Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs took a 44-37 halftime lead. ...

Hornets edge Magic to snap 11-game skid

ORLANDO -- New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams was happy his team broke an 11-game losing streak Wednesday night, but by the time he reached the team bus outside Amway Arena, he was focused more on how to start a winning streak. Playing well changed everything. Center Robin Lopez scored a season-high 29 points, and guard Greivis Vasquez added a career-high 27 points, leading...

Magic edged late by Hornets

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Robin Lopez had a season-high 29 points and Greivis Vasquez scored 27 points as the New Orleans Hornets snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 97-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Orlando had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but came up empty on a 3-point attempt by Nikola Vucevic. The victory was the Hornets' first...
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