DeMar DeRozan carried the Toronto Raptors with a career-high 45 points to a 114-109 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. His efforts helped extend Toronto’s winning streak to five games and earned the club its 11th win in its last 12 outings.
The Raptors looked down and out, trailing by 22 less than three minutes into the second half. It would have been an understandable loss for Dwane Casey’s squad, given they were playing on the second night of a back-to-back and arrived in Philly late last night. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about this year’s Raps, though, it’s that they don’t have an ounce of quit in them.
The Raptors outscored the 76ers 14-0 over the next five minutes of the third quarter to bring the game to within single-digits, then ultimately tied the game to cap off what ended up being a 30-8 scoring run. The Raptors made crisp rotations and had excellent defensive focus throughout the comeback to perfectly compliment DeRozan’s marvelous night, which saw him sink a career-high six 3-pointers (including four in the first half alone). He also chipped in three assists, two steals, and a block.
Kyle Lowry added 23 points and nine assists of his own in another solid offensive performance against his hometown team. The only downside of his game was his seven turnovers.
With Joel Embiid sitting out, Dario Saric was just one assist shy of his first career triple-double, finishing with a final line of 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Philadelphia. Ben Simmons led his team with 20 points.
The Raptors don’t have to wait long for a rematch against the 76ers. These two teams switch venues to the Air Canada Centre for the second game of a home-and-home series on Saturday.