demar derozan

This time, Sixers avoid massive collapse

This time, Sixers avoid massive collapse

BOX SCORE

The Sixers tackled two hurdles on Monday afternoon: holding onto a substantial lead and beating a top-three team in the East. They conquered both as they held off the Raptors, 117-111, at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers nearly blew a 21-point edge when the Raptors cut the lead down to one with three minutes to play. The Sixers were back up by eight with 1:25 to go, but C.J. Miles made it a three-point game with under 40 seconds to play thanks to a nifty tip-in.

It wasn’t until Joel Embiid drained a pair of free throws, all while waving to the crowd at the line, that the Sixers iced the contest with 11 seconds remaining. 

The Sixers had been 0-8 against the Celtics, Raptors and Cavaliers (the top three teams in the Eastern Conference) this season, including an 0-3 mark against the Raptors. With the win, the Sixers moved back up to .500 on the season as they now sit at 20-20. 

Embiid led all players with a 34-point, 11-rebound double-double. He scored 18 points in the first half alone. Embiid and Ben Simmons combined for the Sixers’ first 20 points of the game.

The Sixers have been in need of a spark off the bench and they got it in the form of T.J. McConnell. The reserve guard posted 18 points, six rebounds, eight dimes and three steals. He contributed when the Sixers were in a pinch. Simmons played just 1:36 in the second quarter after picking up this third foul. McConnell and Jerryd Bayless clocked a combined 18 minutes off the bench. McConnell posted seven points, four assists and three rebounds in that quarter. 

JJ Redick left the game with a left leg contusion and did not return.

The Sixers held off the Raptors' backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan (24 points) and Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry (13 points). Delon Wright once again played well against the Sixers with 20 points off the bench for Toronto. 

Things got chippy between McConnell and DeRozan in the second quarter. As McConnell regained possession off a Raptors turnover, DeRozan pushed him and was called for a foul. McConnell took exception and had words for DeRozan, who then pushed him again with one hand. DeRozan was issued for a personal foul and both players were hit with techs. Sixers fans booed DeRozan for the rest of the game. 

The game didn't end without final sparks. Simmons and Lowry were both issued techs and ejected with only six seconds to play.

Markelle Fultz worked on free throws and driving drills before the game.

The Sixers are next in Boston to play the 34-10 Celtics Thursday. 

Warriors hold on despite DeRozan's 42 points

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Warriors hold on despite DeRozan's 42 points

TORONTO — After a huge first half, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors had to hold on late to wrap up their eighth straight win over Toronto.

Curry returned from a two-game absence to score 24 points, Klay Thompson had 26 and the Warriors blew nearly all of a 27-point lead before beating the Raptors 127-125 on Saturday night.

DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points for the Raptors, who made it a tight game after the Warriors rang up 81 points on 71.1 percent shooting in the first half.

"We expected that and we took that punch," Kevin Durant said of Toronto's comeback. "I'm glad we got the `W,' especially on the second night of a back-to-back."

The Warriors won at Milwaukee on Friday (see full recap).

Randle leads Lakers past Mavs in OT
DALLAS — With a matinee game in the middle of a road trip, Dallas native Julius Randle had a rare opportunity to enjoy a night off in his hometown.

He already had a good afternoon.

Randle had 23 points and 15 rebounds, including a follow shot late in overtime that helped the Los Angeles Lakers seal a 107-101 victory over the Mavericks on Saturday.

"Yeah, I'm going to enjoy it for sure," Randle said. "I've got my little man here, got my wife here, my family. I'm going to enjoy this night."

With his team leading 104-101, Randle grabbed a rebound on Lonzo Ball's missed jump shot and scored on the rebound with 18 seconds remaining, giving the Lakers a five-point lead they preserved to extend their winning streak to a season-best four games (see full recap).

Wizards win in OT despite surrending 23-point lead
WASHINGTON — After leading the Washington Wizards to their first overtime win of the season, John Wall remained frustrated that the late drama had been self-imposed.

Wall scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and overtime, and tied a season high with 16 assists in the Wizards' 119-113 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

Yet the perennial All-Star couldn't shake thoughts of his own performance, which also included eight turnovers, or that of a team that gave back a 23-point lead.

"The whole second half was just nasty for us, period," Wall said. "We have to do better. We have to do a lot better." (see full recap.)

Williams scores 26 points in Clippers' win
LOS ANGELES — Being .500 is hardly a team's goal, although with the kind of injury-wracked season the Clippers are having, it's somewhat of an accomplishment.

Lou Williams scored 26 points in the Clippers' 126-105 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, giving Los Angeles a 21-21 mark at the season's midpoint.

"With all the guys that are out, we're just trying to hold the fort," coach Doc Rivers said.

Willie Reed added 14 points and 13 rebounds making his first start of the season in place of DeAndre Jordan, who has a sprained left ankle. Blake Griffin had 11 points and nine assists as one of eight Clippers in double figures.

DeRozan puts Raptors on his back after Lowry injury

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DeRozan puts Raptors on his back after Lowry injury

NEW YORK -- DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 26.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Toronto Raptors shook off a late injury to Kyle Lowry to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-113 on Monday night.

The Raptors lost a 10-point lead in the final 4 1/2 minutes of regulation and then lost Lowry after a hard fall in OT, but at least won the game, just as they always do against the Nets.

Toronto beat Brooklyn for the 10th straight time and won its fifth in a row overall.

Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors. Lowry finished with 18 points and 11 assists, but had to be carried off the court after landing on his lower back while going for a rebound.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career-high 31 points for the Nets, but his wild shot on a last drive went over the backboard.

Lowry had a run of seven straight Toronto points to keep a comfortable lead for the Raptors most of the fourth quarter. But suddenly the Nets got hot from 3-point range, and eventually tied it at 107 on Allen Crabbe's drive to the basket with 9.7 seconds remaining. He was hurt on the play and had to be helped off the floor (see full recap).

Timberwolves destroy Cavaliers at home
MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Wiggins had 25 points in three quarters, Jimmy Butler pitched in 21 points and tight defense on LeBron James, and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 127-99 victory over Cleveland on Monday night that stopped a 12-game home losing streak to the Cavaliers.

Karl-Anthony Towns (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Taj Gibson (16 points, 13 rebounds) were tenacious around the basket for the Timberwolves, who outrebounded the Cavs 56-37 and had a 60-42 advantage in points in the paint.

James had just 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting, taking his first loss at Minnesota since Feb. 17, 2005. Cleveland fell behind by as much as 41 points in the third quarter after a dunk by Wiggins set up by a driving pass by Tyus Jones, who had grabbed his own miss from 3-point range. That matched the largest deficit James has ever faced in the regular season, since a game at Orlando on April 3, 2009.

Butler had plenty to do with that, contributing nine assists and eight rebounds before resting during the fourth quarter, too. The Wolves led 69-42 at halftime, matching their largest first-half score from just two nights ago, after a rainbow 3-pointer from the top of the key by Butler brought the fans to their feet. That also tied the most points allowed by the Cavs in a half this season.

Butler made sure the Wolves didn't slip after the break, knocking down a mid-range fadeaway, stealing the ball back and then swishing a pull-up 3-pointer on the other end to push the lead to 31 points early in the third quarter (see full recap).

Paul, Gordon lift Rockets over Bulls
CHICAGO -- Eric Gordon and Chris Paul each had 24 points and nine assists, Gerald Green scored 22 and the Houston Rockets beat the Chicago Bulls 116-107 on Monday night.

Trevor Ariza hit six 3-pointers and scored 18 to go with nine rebounds. Clint Capela added 15 points and 16 rebounds, and the Rockets won for the third time in 10 games despite blowing a 21-point lead.

Bobby Portis led the Bulls with 22 points. Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn each scored 19, but Chicago lost for the fifth time in six games.

With NBA scoring leader James Harden missing his fourth consecutive game because of a strained hamstring, the Rockets regained control after falling behind early in the third.

They scored eight straight to stretch a two-point edge to 10 late in the quarter and took an 87-76 lead into the fourth after Green and Paul nailed back-to-back 3s. Houston was in charge the rest of the game.