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Hornets fall to Raptors, 126-113

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In a game without their best player, the Hornets put up a good fight only to fall in the final minutes of the game.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlott Hornets managed to keep things interesting, but fell short against the Toronto Raptors, 126-113. With All-Star Kemba Walker out due to a shoulder injury, the expectations were low in a game against a very competitive team.

Led by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Dwight Howard, Charlotte fought back from a 19 point halftime, coming within three points. Howard not only managed to lead the team tonight, but he also had some great jams in the process.

Michael Carter-Williams, Kemba Walker's replacement for the night, only managed 9 points on 1-10 shooting. Malik Monk also got some extended minutes Wednesday night, scoring nine points on 3-4 from deep, in 16 minutes. He also had four assists and two rebounds with a plus/minus of -3.

To open the game, DeRozan was hot, scoring eight of the Raptors first ten points. He did not slow down, finishing with 30 points.

However, things would get interesting at the beginning of the third quarter, when the Hornets would score the first ten points of the half, bringing things close for the remainder of the game. In fact, the Hornets outscored the Raptors 33-22 in the third quarter. Unfortunately, they would not sustain it.

Up until the final four minutes of Wednesday night, Charlotte put up a great fight and showed promise without Walker.

There are many takeaways from Wednesday night, and one of the more promising of them is Frank Kaminsky's contributions off of the bench, He had 18 points, and while being inconsistent this season, he has provided a well-needed spark tonight, particularly in the first half.

The next game the Hornets will play is against the Miami Heat on the road. Currently, there is no time table for Walker’s return, so it is unclear whether he will play. Miami will be a tough test, especially since the Hornets and the Heat are a part of the tier of teams in the Eastern Conference all fighting for a playoff spot. Hopefully, they will be able to regroup in time to win.