Toronto (38-16) moved percentage points ahead of Boston for the division lead as well as the top spot in the Eastern Conference after completing a sweep of their four-game home stand with a 113-88 thrashing of New York on Thursday night.
Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and ten rebounds as the Raptors had seven players finish in double figures, but five of them were reserves as the bench accounted for 61 points on 26-of-45 shooting. It wrapped up an impressive run at Air Canada Centre for Dwane Casey's team, who won those four games by a combined 85 points while averaging 113.8 points. The Raptors also racked up 102 assists while committing just 42 turnovers in those wins.
Charlotte (23-32) are back home after dropping the final three contests of their four-game road swing, capped with a 106-94 defeat at Utah on Friday night. Kemba Walker scored 19 points, but the Hornets had no answer in the middle for Rudy Gobert, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds on seven-of-eight shooting while outplaying Dwight Howard.
Though they are 3-4 in their last seven games, the Hornets have struggled on the defensive end. They've given up 112.4 points per game in that span as opponents are shooting 40.0 percent from 3-point range, averaging 11.7 makes, and 51.3 percent overall. (Photo credit: Keith Allison)