Carter Rains Treys On Hornets

Israeli soldiers argue with a Palestinian man during a protest against checkpoints at the Beit Fourik road block, one of several Israeli checkpoints leading to the West Bank city of Nablus, Monday, April 2, 2007. AP

Vince Carter and the new-look Raptors are on a roll.

Carter scored 40 points, 18 off 3-pointers, as the Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 107-99 Sunday for their third straight victory.

"We're playing with a lot confidence right now, and the new guys have added to that fire," Carter said.

Tracy Murray, acquired from Denver on Friday, added three of Toronto's season-high 14 3-pointers on 21 attempts. He finished with 13 points, eight in the fourth quarter.

"It's only one game, but it feels good," Carter said. "I like what's going on here. Murray's a 6-7 guy who can shoot the 3, and Keon's an athlete, who can do a lot of things."

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  • The Raptors got Murray, Keon Clark and Mamaduo N'diaye from the Nuggets in exchange for Kevin Willis, Aleksandar Radojevic, Garth Joseph and a draft pick. Clark scored nine points and blocked three shots Sunday.

    "It was a great night," said Clark, who was unhappy with his erratic playing time in Denver. "It's been awhile since I've had fun on the court."

    Murray, also unhappy in Denver, likes his new role with Toronto.

    "Boy, did Vince put them in the torture chamber today," Murray said. "He's a great scorer, and a team player. I'm here to make it easier on him. I'm here to make sure there's not as many double teams coming at him."

    Cater had 16 points in the third quarter as the Raptors outscored the Hornets 37-19 in the period. Toronto closed the third with a 16-4 run, including Antonio Davis' three-point play, Carter's two 3-pointers and a shorter jumper, and Mark Jackson's 3-pointer.

    That gave Toronto an 84-69 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

    "The Raptors were making 3s, and that's what did us in," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. "Tracy came in and shot a bunch of huge 3s."

    Murray scored eight of Toronto's first 14 points of the fourth, and Clark added a jumper, a blocked shot and a free throw.

    "They did a great job coming off the bench," Charlotte's Elden Campbell said.

    Jamal Mashburn, who missed Charlotte's five previous games with a bruised left knee, narrowed the lead to seven points with a three-point play with just more than 1 minute remaining.

    But the Hornets couldn't get closer.

    "I didn't expect the Raptors to make all those 3s," Charlotte's David Wesley said. "Murray and Clark are going to be great additions to that team."

    Mashburn finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Wesley added 20 points for the Hornets.

    Carter went 16-for-23 from the field, including a spectacular reverse, alley-oop dunk that gave Toronto a 10-point lead with 2:15 left to play.

    The Hornets led by 10 with 2:21 left in the first half, but Toronto went on a 9-2 run, narrowing the lead to 50-47.

    Mashburn had 15 points, Carter 19 in the half.

    "When you have effective people around Vince, he becomes more effective," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said.

    Notes

  • Toronto's Jackson finished with 13 points and 14 assists.
  • Fans cheered when it was announced that the Toronto Blue Jays had traded David Wells to the Chicago White Sox. Earlier this month, Wells said Blue Jays' fans "stink."
  • Charlotte made two of their nine 3-point attempts.
  • Murray, who enjoyed his best NBA season with the Raptors in 1995-96, received a loud ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter.


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