Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DeRozan carries Raptors

TORONTO—With teammate Kyle Lowry ailing, DeMar DeRozan put the Toronto Raptors on his shoulders last night.
DeRozan had a career-high 40 points to rally the Raptors to a 93-85 home win over the Dallas Mavericks—their first victory in three games.

And with fellow guard Lowry struggling with the stomach ’flu (he went 0-for-10 from the field, including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc), it was DeRozan who led Toronto to its third-straight decision over the Mavs.
“Once I saw Kyle with his head hanging down and holding his stomach, I knew he wasn’t feeling too well,” DeRozan noted.
“This loss would’ve hurt and we didn’t want to lose three in a row,” he added.
“I just told myself to try do as much as I can to win; try to pull this one off and keep my team in it.”
DeRozan finished 15-of-22 from the field, nine-of-14 from the free-throw line, and also hit the only three-pointer he tried.
He put an exclamation point on his outstanding performance by recording the steal and going the length of the court to score and give Toronto (21-20) a 92-85 lead with 1:48 to go.
“He got into the flow of the game,” said Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey.
“In the first quarter, we weren’t getting those flow shots,” Casey noted. “After that, we started getting into our offence; we ran the pick-and-rolls.
“They started blitzing them, and he [DeRozan] did a good job finding others and the ball found him.”
Although Lowry only managed three points (off free throws), Casey praised his guard’s contributions in other areas of the game.
“Kyle didn’t stop playing,” Casey stressed. “He dove on the floor, got his hands in there defensively on loose balls.
“He affected the game without scoring,” added Casey. “You don’t expect him to go 0-for-10 but he affected the game.”
Grievis Vazquez scored 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 12 for Toronto, which rebounded from a horrid start as Dallas stormed out to a 34-15 first-quarter lead.
“After the first quarter, I thought it was going to be a blow-out,” Casey admitted. “But in the second half, we got the game back under control and got defence in the game.
“You get in a free-flowing game with a great offensive team like that and you’re in trouble.
“Our starts are concerning . . . for us to score only 15 points is alarming,” he added.
Monta Ellis had 21 points for Dallas (25-19) while former Raptors’ Jose Calderon and Vince Carter had 13 and eight points, respectively.
Brandan Wright also had 13 points as all-star forward Dirk Nowitzki (rest) was inactive despite scoring 17 points in a 102-97 road win over Cleveland on Monday night.
Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said DeRozan was tough to pin down.
“He was doing a little bit of everything,” he noted. “He was driving and he was making shots.
“They got in transition a lot because of turnovers and he’s a really good transition player.”
Elsewhere in the NBA, Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 111-105, Atlanta shaded Orlando 112-109, Boston nipped Washington 113-111 (OT), Chicago downed Cleveland 98-87, and Charlotte upended the L.A. Clippers 95-91.
Philadelphia beat New York 110-106, Houston bounced Sacramento 119-98, Milwaukee downed Detroit 104-101, and Phoenix dumped Indiana 124-100.

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