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Raptors 102, Hornets 89

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Forward Rudy Gay had 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Hornets 102-89 Sunday before a crowd of 17,177 at Air Canada Centre.

Gay has scored 20 or more points in each of his first five games with the Raptors, a franchise record.

Reserve guard John Lucas hit all five of his 3-point attempts and added 19 points for the Raptors, who won their second game in a row.

Amir Johnson had 14 points and seven rebounds for Toronto (19-32), and Kyle Lowry added 14 points and 10 assists. Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Alan Anderson came off the bench to score 11 points.

Robin Lopez had 19 points to lead the Hornets, while Greivis Vasquez had 16 points, six assists and seven rebounds. Ryan Anderson added 15 for New Orleans (17-34), and Brian Roberts scored 13.

Lucas hit two jump shots to give Toronto a six-point lead with 9:18 to play in the fourth quarter, expanding what was a three-point advantage after three quarters. Anderson made two free throws to bump the lead to eight with 8:55 remaining. The Raptors moved ahead by 10 after Lucas hit his fourth 3-pointer with 7:28 to play. After the Hornets missed a shot, Lucas hit his fifth 3-pointer to increase the margin to 13.

The Hornets moved within 10 points before Gay hit a pair of free throws with 1:21 to play for a 12-point lead. Anderson increased the lead to 14 with a layup.

Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon, held to one point in the first half, made his first field goal of the game, a 3-pointer, with 5:16 to play in the third quarter to pull New Orleans back to within three points. He finished with six points.

The Raptors could not open more than a five-point advantage the rest of the quarter. After each team missed shots in the final seconds of the third quarter, Toronto led 69-66.

The Hornets, who trailed by 11 points after the first quarter, stormed back with the first 12 points of the second quarter. Roberts led the surge with two 3-pointers and a layup. The Raptors came back to lead 50-47 at the half.

The Raptors, following an overtime win at Indiana on Friday, came out with energy on Sunday and led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter. Led by Johnson's 12 points, they were up 32-21 after the first.

NOTES: Raptors forward/center Andrea Bargnani, who has played two games since missing 26 games with a right elbow injury, was not in uniform for Sunday's game. ... Forward Landry Fields, who missed three games with back spasms, was back in action for the Raptors. He scored four points. ... Gay, then playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, scored 10 points on 3-for-17 shooting against the Hornets on Jan. 27 in a 91-83 New Orleans win. That finished an eight-game slump in which Gay averaged 13.1 points and 35.9 percent shooting. He was traded to Toronto on Jan. 30. ... Gordon entered Sunday averaging 17 points a game since returning to the lineup on Dec. 29 after missing the first 29 games of the season with a patella disorder and a bone bruise in his right knee. He did not play the first time the teams met, Dec. 28, when the Raptors won 104-97 in overtime. ... Gordon had a season-best 27 points on Friday when the Hornets defeated the Atlanta Hawks 111-100. It was the eighth time he has led the Hornets in scoring this season. ... The Hornets visit the Detroit Pistons on Monday. ... The Raptors play host to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
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