Raptors cruise to fourth-straight win

The Associated Press
Dan Gelston

PHILADELPHIA—Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan spent an off-night in town at Villanova watching the best basketball team in the Philly area dominate in another victory.
A night later, Lowry and DeRozan ditched the courtside seats to team up and keep Philadelphia the worst team in the NBA.
DeRozan scored 31 points and Lowry added 20 last night to help the Toronto Raptors win their fourth-straight game—a 123-114 romp over the 76ers.
DeRozan continued to make the 30-point mark a routine part of his game and scored 31 points through the first three quarters.
DeRozan posterized Jahlil Okafor with a dunk over the Sixers’ big man and easily rolled to his second-straight 30-point game.
He scored 30 points on Monday against Milwaukee and came in averaging a robust 27.9 points per game.
“It’s just experience. My work ethic,” DeRozan noted. “I just try and be better every single year.”
He’s having his best one yet.
Lowry helped blow the game open in his Philadelphia homecoming.
He made a three-pointer in the fourth that stretched the lead to 99-80 and earned some applause for the all-star raised in the area.
DeRozan and Lowry helped squash the Sixers’ modest two-game winning streak.
Long one of the NBA’s worst teams, the Sixers haven’t won three-straight games since they took four in a row from Dec. 29, 2013-Jan. 4, 2014.
Robert Covington led the Sixers with 26 points while Okafor had 17.
The Sixers had won two-straight on the road and seemed like they could win a rare game at home when they opened with a strong first 17 minutes.
But Lowry brought the Sixers crashing back to reality.
Lowry buried two quick “threes” that brought the Raptors within two and then scored on a driving lay-up that tied the game at 45-45.
The Raptors turned a three-point deficit to open the second quarter into a 60-54 halftime lead.
The Sixers went on a mini-run late in the fourth and got within five points with 30 seconds left.
They could have used another 30 minutes to top the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.
The Raptors now have won 10-of-11 games and are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Lowry dedicated the win to his mother on her birthday.
“I got as many points as her age,” he laughed.
The Raptors next host Atlanta tomorrow night.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the L.A. Clippers beat Orlando 113-108, Miami downed Indiana 95-89, Washington shaded Charlotte 109-106, Brooklyn bounced the L.A. Lakers 107-97, and Houston routed Sacramento 132-98.
Memphis upended Cleveland 93-85, Detroit beat Dallas 95-85, Utah bounced Oklahoma City 109-89, and San Antonio downed Boston 108-101.