NBA roundup: No DeRozan, no problem – Kyle Lowry and Raptors sink Kings

Lowry had 27 points on Tuesday night as Toronto, embarking on a long stretch without DeMar DeRozan, looked just fine against Sacramento.
Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors have the best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Stephen Dunn / Getty Images / AFP
Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors have the best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Stephen Dunn / Getty Images / AFP

The Toronto Raptors don’t mind spreading the workload around while leading scorer DeMar DeRozan sits out with a torn muscle in his left leg.

That’s critical because the mercurial guard has no timetable for a return.

On a night the Raptors played sporadic defence, it was even more important.

Kyle Lowry scored 27 points and made a pivotal jumper with 57 seconds left to lift the Raptors over the Sacramento Kings 117-109 on Tuesday.

Terrence Ross matched his season high with 20 points and reserve James Johnson added 19 points and seven rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for the East-leading Raptors, who had lost two in a row.

“We got the start we wanted, but I am a firm believer in that you finish the way you start,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “You can’t win in this league thinking you are going to outscore people 117 points and not play defence. That’s a huge concern.”

The Raptors, playing their second consecutive game without DeRozan, led by as much as 15 in the first half but were clinging to a 111-107 advantage late in the fourth quarter when Lowry made a 20-foot jumper.

The Kings missed two chances to cut into the lead before Johnson scored on a putback for Toronto. Lowry’s two free throws sealed it.

“DeMar is our best defensive player so Kyle has a little more responsibilities as well as T-Ross, me and everybody else,” said Greivis Vasquez, who had 12 points and seven assists. “We are winning for DeMar, too. We want him back because he’s a big part of our team.”

Rudy Gay had 20 points and a career-high 10 assists for Sacramento. The Kings have lost four straight.

Five players scored in double figures for Toronto, who had not won in Sacramento since December 26, 2008.

It helped that the Kings were also short-handed. Leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins missed his third straight game because of a virus.

The Raptors took full advantage and benefited from Sacramento’s own sluggish defence, which continues to struggle without the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins in the middle. Toronto scored 31 points in the first quarter, 35 in the third and shot an even 50 per cent from the floor.

“DeMarcus is the anchor of our defence and he’s a central figure for our offence,” Kings coach Mike Malone said. “But for us to sit here and say our defence without DeMarcus ... There’s no excuse not to be able to defend at a much higher level.”

Lowry, who added 13 assists, went 10-of-21 while Johnson shot 9-of-13.

Ross made six of his first eight shots and had 15 points in the first quarter to help Toronto go up 31-22.

Sacramento chipped away at the lead and took a 45-44 lead on Omri Casspi’s free throw after Amir Johnson was whistled for a dead ball technical foul. The Raptors scored the next six points and didn’t trail again.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Warriors 98 (15-2), Magic 97 (7-13)

Stephen Curry made a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Orlando Magic 98-97 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight win.

In the most dramatic finish in their streak to date, Curry sprinted up court and lost Tobias Harris with some crafty dribbling before pulling up to swish the shot. Curry shook his shoulders and pounded his chest as the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 roared at noisy Oracle Arena.

Draymond Green deflected Kyle O’Quinn’s pass to Harris on Orlando’s last possession.

Curry finished with 22 points as Golden State rallied from nine points down in the final four minutes.

The Warriors extended the best start in franchise history and moved within one game of matching the team record for consecutive wins set in the 1971/72 season.

Victor Oladipo scored 27 points in a disappointing collapse for the young Magic.

Mavericks 132 (14-5), Bulls 129 (11-7) 2OT

Monta Ellis hit three foul shots for Dallas with 1.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and then made a go-ahead three-pointer late in the second overtime.

Ellis finished with 38 points, including his trio of foul shots that made it 108-all. He was fouled by Kirk Hinrich soon after crossing half-court.

Chicago’s Derrick Rose banked in a three-pointer at the overtime buzzer to force double OT.

Ellis’ three put the Mavericks up 130-129, and Chandler Parsons added two foul shots. Rose missed a three-point try as time expired.

Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points on 8-for-22 shooting in Dallas’ fourth consecutive win.

Pau Gasol led the Bulls with 29 points and 14 rebounds.

Pelicans 112 (8-8), Thunder 104 (5-13)

Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant returned from a foot injury and scored 27 points in his season debut for Oklahoma City, but Tyreke Evans powered the Pelicans to the win.

Durant played nearly 30 minutes, looking healthy whether he was throwing down a driving, two-handed dunk or snapping off one of his three three-pointers.

Evans scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. Anthony Davis had 25 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Pelicans.

Russell Westbrook, in his second game back from a hand injury for the Thunder, scored 21.

Cavaliers 111 (9-7), Bucks 108 (10-9)

Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, LeBron James had 26 points and 10 assists and Mike Miller provided a much-needed spark off Cleveland’s bench, leading the Cavaliers to their fourth straight win.

Kevin Love added 27 points for the Cavs, who got all they could handle from the young Bucks.

Brandon Knight scored 24 and 19-year-old rookie Jabari Parker, the No 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, had 22 points for Milwaukee.

Miller, who wasn’t used by coach David Blatt in the previous three games, made two three-pointers, grabbed seven rebounds and had a key block in 18 minutes – all in the second half.

Trail Blazers 105 (14-4), Nuggets 103 (9-9)

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 39 points and set up the winning basket on a pass inside to Robin Lopez with 1.3 seconds left, helping Portland rally for the win.

Aldridge received an in-bounds pass and dished it to Lopez, who sealed off JJ Hickson with his hip for an easy layup.

Danilo Gallinari’s three-pointer at the buzzer was well short as the Blazers won their seventh straight over Denver.

Aldridge also had 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double in six games. Damian Lillard scored 17 points, and Wesley Matthews added 15.

Ty Lawson led Denver with 24 points and 13 assists on the second night of a back-to-back.

Hawks 109 (10-6), Celtics 105 (4-11)

Kyle Korver scored 24 points, and the Hawks rallied to beat the struggling Celtics.

Paul Millsap added 19 points for Atlanta, who have won three straight and five of six. Korver went 6-for-7 from three-point range.

Boston have lost five straight and eight of nine. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger had 25 points apiece for the Celtics, and Rajon Rondo set a season high with 19 assists.

The Celtics got off to a fast start and led by as many as 23 points in the first half. But the Hawks erased much of Boston’s lead with a big third quarter and then pulled ahead early in the final period.

Nets 98 (7-9), Knicks 93 (4-15)

Brook Lopez scored 23 points, Joe Johnson added 22 and Brooklyn improved to 2-0 this season against their city rivals.

Deron Williams finished with 19 points for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 10 games after blowing most of a 16-point, second-half lead.

Carmelo Anthony had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but missed a potential tying three-pointer with about 5 seconds left as the Knicks lost their fifth straight.

Jose Calderon had 19 points and seven assists for New York, and Amare Stoudemire added 17 points and nine rebounds in his third start this season.

Suns 116 (11-8), Pacers 99 (7-11)

Goran Dragic scored 34 points, Eric Bledsoe had 27 and the Suns earned their fourth straight victory over the Pacers.

The Suns’ starting guards combined for 22-for-35 shooting. Dragic matched his season high for a game with 22 first-half points, and Bledsoe scored 21 in the second half.

Gerald Green and Markieff Morris added 15 points apiece for the Suns, who broke the game open in the final seven minutes.

CJ Miles scored 17 for Indiana, and Roy Hibbert had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Lakers 106 (5-13), Pistons 96 (3-15)

Lakers star Kobe Bryant scored all 12 of his points in a row, leading an impressive flurry in the third quarter.

The Pistons held Bryant scoreless in the first half, but still lost their ninth in a row.

Bryant began the day as the NBA’s leading scorer at almost 27 points per game. His burst in the third helped the Lakers to an 81-65 lead heading into the final period.

Los Angeles had six players score in double figures, including each of the starters. Jordan Hill scored 22 points, and reserve Nick Young had 19.

Josh Smith led Detroit with 18 points.

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Published: December 3, 2014 04:00 AM

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