Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 28 points and the Hornets tied a franchise record with 15 3-pointers, snapping their four-game losing streak with a 101-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
“CP’s out, we’ve got to have better ball movement and that’s what we did, particularly in the fourth quarter,” Stojakovic said. “When you move the ball, you get good looks.”
Toronto led most of the second half—by as much as 11 at one point—and held an 83-75 lead after Jermaine O’Neal’s jumper with 6:52 to go.
The Hornets called timeout to regroup, and they did. Devin Brown’s driving layup ignited a 17-0 run highlighted by five consecutive 3s—two each by James Posey and Rasual Butler and one by Stojakovic, who had seven 3s in all.
The spurt put the Hornets up 92-83 with 3:31 to go, and Toronto got no closer than five points after that.
“When those 3s start dropping, there isn’t much you can do,” Raptors forward Jamario Moon said. “A lot of them were contested and they were still knocking them down. I think they just got into a rhythm and they were feeling good.”
David West, Butler and Posey each finished with 17 points for New Orleans. West also had 10 rebounds.
O’Neal scored 24 points for Toronto, which lost its fifth straight.
The Hornets were without Paul for a second straight game, but Toronto was missing an All-Star of its own, with Chris Bosh missing his first full game since spraining his knee against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Stojakovic and West had been productive in the Hornets’ recent losses, but they needed help and got it from Posey, who played an important sixth-man role in the Boston Celtics’ championship last season but had been in an offensive slump lately.
Posey finished with four 3s against Toronto after going 0-for-11 from long range during his previous five games.
“The only thing I could do is just continue to work, keep getting shots up at practice, stay in my routine and keep shooting the ball with confidence,” Posey said. “I just believe in my routine and I just stick to it.”
Posey also played his typical tough defense, drawing a charge and forcing O’Neal into a traveling violation in the final minutes.
“He is such a competitor, the last thing I worry about with Posey is making shots because he does so much more than that,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “He defends. He rebounds. He does all the other things that don’t show up in the stats.”
Butler had three 3s and Brown added another with 1:01 left to put the Hornets up 97-89.
Before the game, Scott shook up the lineup by giving reserve Ryan Bowen his first start of the season. Scott wasn’t counting on much from Bowen statistically and didn’t get it. Bowen had three points and two rebounds. But he hoped Bowen’s hustle, especially on defense, would be contagious and help New Orleans play with more aggression.
Posey hit two 3s in the first half and a long jumper that gave the Hornets a 33-19 lead early in the second quarter.
After that, however, New Orleans went through a minislump from outside and made matters worse by turning the ball over nine times in the second quarter.
Toronto took advantage on all the long rebounds or steals, scoring 14 fast-break points in the second quarter. Calderon scored 11 points during a 22-5 run, including a jumper that put Toronto ahead 39-38 with 2:22 left in the period.
The Raptors then closed the half on a 7-2 run that included Moon’s dunk, Bargnani’s 3 and Calderon’s driving layup with just over a second left, giving Toronto a 48-42 halftime lead.
Stojakovic’s seven 3s gave him 68 career games with at least five. … New Orleans shot 31.3 percent (5-of-16) in the second quarter. … New Orleans won the only other meeting between these teams this season in Toronto on Dec. 14. … The Raptors have two games remaining on their current three-game road trip, at Memphis on Saturday and Minnesota on Tuesday.