DeRozan scores 27 points in Toronto Raptors' 108-100 victory over Sixers - InfoNews

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DeRozan scores 27 points in Toronto Raptors' 108-100 victory over Sixers

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan looks to pass the ball against Philadelphia 76ers during first half NBA action in Toronto on Friday, December 13 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
December 13, 2013 - 6:42 PM

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan poured in 27 while Terrence Ross added 24 to lift the revamped Toronto Raptors to a 108-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

Amir Johnson had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto (8-13). Jonas Valanciunas finished with 12 points to go with 13 boards, and Kyle Lowry doled out a season-high 11 assists and added six points.

Tony Wroten topped the Sixers (7-17) with 23 points. Evan Turner had 21 points, while Thaddeus Young finished with 18.

The game marked the first action for newcomers Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and John Salmons since they were acquired in Monday's trade that sent Rudy Gay, plus Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento.

Vasquez scored 12 points, while Patterson had five points and five boards but played some nice interior defence.

Chuck Hayes, also acquired from Sacramento in the trade, didn't dress as he was required to undergo baseline cardiac testing.

The Raptors almost coughed up an early 15-point lead several times during the game against their Atlantic Division rivals, but took an 83-76 lead into the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 17,133 at Air Canada Centre.

Johnson and Vasquez drained consecutive three-pointers to put Toronto up by 14 with just over seven minutes to play and the Raptors looked poised to cruise to a victory, But the Sixers battled back and a three by Turner with 2:10 to go pulled them within 100-96.

Ross drained a three on the Raptors' next possession to give Toronto some breathing room, the basket pulling the swingman to within two points of his career high.

Lowry played amid rumours he wasn't long for Toronto, with the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets believed to be the frontrunners to acquire the Raptors' starting point guard.

Lowry spoke candidly about the rumours after Friday morning's shootaround.

"You see it every day, you see it whenever they update it and everyone talks about it," Lowry told reporters. "We joke about it a little bit, we make it more of a lighter type thing, don't make it a heavy hearted thing, make it a joke.

"'Hey, man, you still here?' Make it a little bit lighter on the players in that situation."

Lowry, who's in the final year of a contract that will pay him about $6.2 million this year, admitted the speculation weighed on him.

"Nobody can say it doesn't but at the same time, you have to know that this is a business, you have to know the situation that you're in, the situation that you're going to be in," he said.

"You can't let it affect you too much because you still have to go out there and do a job and try to win for the team that you're playing for."

Starting in place of the departed Gay, Ross scored 12 first-quarter points including a three that put the Raptors up by 11 less than three minutes into the game. Toronto closed out the quarter up 36-21.

The three new Raptors started the second and the chemistry clearly wasn't there, as the Sixers opened the quarter with a 10-0 run. A pair of Wroten free throws pulled the visitors even with three-and-a-half minutes left in the half. The Raptors made just six field goals in the quarter, but held on to lead 56-48 at halftime.

The Sixers chipped away at Toronto's lead and pulled to within 76-74 with 1:35 to go.

But Lowry grabbed a rebound and found a sprinting DeRozan with a court-long pass for a layup. The play seemed to inject some life into a sagging home team.

On the Raptors' final possession, Lowry grabbed his own rebound for a nice tip shot at the buzzer that gave Toronto an 83-76 lead heading into the fourth.

NOTES: The Raptors are in Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday, then return home to host the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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