Created: 11/06/2013 10:35 PM WHEC.com
(AP) CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Gerald Henderson broke out of his shooting slump with a season-high 23 points, and the surprising Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Toronto Raptors 92-90 Wednesday night.
After signing an $18 million, three-year contract in the offseason, Henderson came in shooting just 31 percent through the first four games. But he got off to a fast start this time and finished 10 of 17 from the field.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 14 points to help Charlotte win again after beating the Knicks in New York on Tuesday night. Second-year guard Jeffery Taylor continued to give the Bobcats (3-2) quality minutes off the bench, scoring 13 points. Josh McRoberts added 13 points and five assists.
Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 20 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
With the Raptors trailing 92-90 with 27 seconds left, DeMar DeRozan drove the lane but his shot was rejected by Bismack Biyombo.
Toronto inexplicably didn’t foul the Bobcats on their final possession and never got another shot off.
The Bobcats have won five straight home games dating to last season.
Charlotte shot 75 percent from the field in the first quarter to build a 32-18 lead. Henderson led the way, knocking down six jumpers in the opening 10 minutes, most of those around the top of the key.
The Raptors appeared to be playing off Henderson, daring him to shoot. The former Duke star responded again and again, going 7 of 10 from the floor in the first half.
Charlotte cooled off considerably in the second quarter and the Raptors fought back to tie it 53-all at halftime behind nine points from Tyler Hansbrough and a pair of 3-pointers from DeRozan.
With Kidd-Gilchrist on the bench with five fouls, Taylor and McRoberts picked up the slack in the third. After blowing a 16-point first-half lead, Charlotte got a boost from McRoberts, who turned the momentum of the game with a solid stretch that included a dunk, a 3-pointer and two no-look passes for easy baskets.
The Raptors struggled at times with turnovers, committing 13 that led to 18 Bobcats points.
Charlotte’s leading scorer, Kemba Walker, had a quiet night.
He played after an MRI on his shoulder Wednesday revealed no damage from a collision Tuesday night with Metta World Peace. Walker didn’t seem as aggressive, finishing 2 of 13 from the field for five points.
The Bobcats played again without center Al Jefferson, their top free-agent pickup. He is nursing an ankle injury.
NOTES: Henderson has scored in double digits in 28 of his last 29 games for the Bobcats. ... Gay has reached double digits in all five games this season. ... It was Charlotte’s sixth straight win at home against the Raptors.