DeMar DeRozan powers Raptors to comeback win over Celtics, 114-106
TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 41 points, Kyle Lowry had 24 and the Toronto Raptors rallied to end the Boston Celtics’ four-game winning streak with a 114-106 victory on Tuesday night.
DeRozan added 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and a career-high 23 rebounds. The Raptors bounced back after losing to Chicago and Houston over the weekend.
Toronto also kept itself above Boston in the Eastern Conference standings. A win would have pulled the Celtics even with the Raptors for second place behind Cleveland.
Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and Marcus Smart had 16 for the Celtics.
The game had nine lead changes in the first half. Boston pulled in front on Gerald Green’s layup with 3:54 left in the second quarter and led until Lowry’s 3-pointer with 2:41 remaining in the game. With 5:05 to play, Boston was ahead 102-95, but the Raptors closed on a 19-4 run to clinch the victory, their second of the season over Boston.
Both high-powered offenses struggled in the first quarter, with the Celtics shooting 36.4 percent from the field and the Raptors not much better at 37.5. Toronto led 23-18 after 12 minutes.
Boston improved in the second quarter, shooting 66.7 percent, with Smart adding nine points and Green matching him off the bench. The Celtics closed on a 13-3 run over the last four minutes to take a 55-46 lead into the interval.
Boston led by 16 in the third quarter, but then DeRozan rallied the Raptors with 19 third-quarter points to get within 84-80 heading into the fourth.
Celtics: G Avery Bradley (right Achilles tendon) missed his second straight contest, while G James Young (right ankle) and C Tyler Zeller (sinus infection) both continued to sit out. ... Boston dropped to 6-2 against Atlantic Division opponents this year, with both its defeats coming against Toronto.
Raptors: F Patrick Patterson made his first start of the season. ... Toronto stayed a perfect 6-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season. ... For the third time this season, the Raptors wore their blue Toronto Huskies road uniforms and played on an alternate court with the logo of the Huskies, a team from the NBA’s inaugural 1946-47 season which lasted just one year before folding. Toronto is now 3-0 wearing the uniforms.
Because the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching staff is prohibited from working the All-Star Game in consecutive seasons, staffs from Toronto and Boston are vying to represent the Eastern Conference for the game next month in New Orleans. The reward goes to whichever team has the best record after Feb. 5. “That’s a real honor to be part of a team that’s in a position to do that,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
The national anthem singer flubbed a couple of lines during the singing of O Canada before the game, and the crowd at the Air Canada Centre joined in to help out and see her through to the end.
Celtics: Host Washington on Wednesday night looking for a fourth straight home win over the Wizards.
Raptors: Host Brooklyn on Friday night in the second of five straight games against Atlantic Division opponents.