(Reuters) - Guard DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 104-94 on Friday, courtesy of Charlotte being unable to score in the final 4:45 minutes of the game.
Forward Marvin Williams hit a three-pointer to tie the game 94-94 and give him 17 points, but that was the end of the scoring for the Hornets.
Point guard Kyle Lowry then made a step-back jumper that put the Raptors into the lead with 3:28 to play and they were on their way to a 104-94 victory.
“We finally got into a rhythm, got a couple of stops and that’s all we needed,” DeRozan said.
”We had a couple of possessions where we were going back-and-forth and they were scoring.
“We just understood if we got some stops and some big buckets we could be right back in the game and we would be able to take the lead.”
The Raptors trailed by eight points after three quarters, but dominated the fourth quarter to win their second game in a row.
”We did a lot of good things,“ Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. ”They are a good team and it’s on the road.
“We were right there. I mean we should have been up eight, 10, 12 at the end of the third.”
Lowry added 18 points and dished out 11 assists for the Raptors while center Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points.
Forwards DeMarre Carroll and Patrick Patterson chipped in with 14 points each and reserve center Bismack Biyombo nabbed 11 rebounds and scored six points for Toronto.
Guard Kemba Walker scored 18 points to lead the injury depleted Hornets.
DeRozan scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Raptors took a 29-28 lead. There were six lead changes in the quarter and the game was tied five times.
There were six more lead changes in the second quarter, in which the score was tied 10 times and was locked 55-55 at the intermission.
The Hornets scored the first seven points of the third quarter and held by a nine-point lead on a pull-up jumper by Kaminsky with 1:03 left in the third and took an 82-74 lead into the fourth quarter.
Toronto, however, scored the first eight points of the fourth to ensure they had the momentum in the final period.
“Our defense was solid in the fourth quarter,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
“The first half, I didn’t recognize some of the straight line drives they were making. They were going by us way too easily, but we shortened up down the stretch.”