Raptors rebound from loss with three point explosion
By Agence France-Presse
DeMar DeRozan delivered 35 points and nailed a career-high matching six three pointers as the Toronto Raptors rebounded from Thursday’s loss with an emphatic 130-105 demolition of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Raptors’ statement win on Friday night was not only their sixth consecutive over Portland but it came less than 24 hours after a disappointing 122-119 loss to the Washington Wizards.
“When you come off a loss like that you just can’t wait to get back on the court and redeem yourself,” DeRozan said of the Raptors, who have the best winning record (20-4) in the league at home.
“That’s what tonight was. We came back to our comfort zone on our home floor and we tried to have that energy that we didn’t have last night.”
Fred VanVleet scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry had 15 and Pascal Siakam 13 for the Raptors, who made a season high 19 from beyond the arc.
DeRozan made 11 of 22 shots and matched his career-high for three-pointers. He finished six for 10 from long range.
“So many options opened up I just tried to exploit them,” he said.
Toronto shot 19 for 40 from behind the arc, with nine players making at least one three-pointer.
Portland’s Damian Lillard became the fastest player in club history to reach 10,000 career points with a 32-point performance against Toronto.
The Blazers have lost five of their past seven on the road and they had a four-game win streak halted.
CJ McCollum scored 21 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 20 as the Blazers opened their February schedule on a losing note after winning a league high 11 games in the month of January.
Lillard headed into the contest just 12 points away from 10,000. He reached the milestone on a driving layup with 45 seconds left in the first quarter, then passed it with a three pointer at 9:06 of the second.
The Raptors’ season-long four-game homestand continues Sunday against Memphis.
– Parker makes season debut –
In Milwaukee, Jabari Parker scored 12 points in his season debut after a 51-week injury absence as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks 92-90.
Giannis Antetokounmpo made the game-winning layup with two seconds left in the fourth to clinch the victory for the Bucks, who have now won five of six.
“It was emotional,” said Parker. “It was the same place I hurt myself. I just tried to keep the same mindset I had during rehab, take it step-by-step and play-by-play.”
Parker hadn’t played since tearing his left ACL in February 2017 during a game against Miami.
Elsewhere, Anthony Davis scored 43 points to help the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-100.
Davis made 17 of 34 shots and had 10 rebounds, and E’Twaun Moore added 26 points for the Pelicans.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his 16th triple-double of the season. Steven Adams had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their third straight game after an eight-game winning streak.
Westbrook approached a triple-double in the first half with nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds to help the Thunder take a 58-54 lead at halftime.
The Pelicans seized the momentum early in the third quarter as they managed to contain Westbrook for the rest of the game.
American sports broadcaster ESPN reported earlier Friday that Westbrook would not face disciplinary action from the league for shoving a Denver supporter who left his seat and walked onto the playing court. (AFP)