Kyle Lowry follows 31 point performance with 33 to lead Raptors over Magic 98-83
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry defends against Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo during NBA action in Toronto on Wednesday, January 29 2014. Lowry scored 33 points during the game as the Raptors won 98-83. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
January 29, 2014 - 6:23 PM
TORONTO - Kyle Lowry had 33 points as the Toronto Raptors pounded the Orlando Magic Wednesday night.
The Raptors' point guard eclipsed the 30-point mark in back-to-back games for the first time in his seven-year NBA career as Toronto won 98-83 before 17,694 fans at Air Canada Centre.
Lowry, who had 31 points in a win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday, added 11 assists and seven rebounds as the Raptors won for the second straight time without DeMar DeRozan.
Amir Johnson added 22 points and 11 rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas, the second-year centre picked earlier Wednesday to suit up in the Rising Stars Challenge at the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans next month, added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors.
Lowry set the tone by opening the scoring with a 26-foot jump shot 58 seconds into the game to make it 3-0. The Raptors led from there, winning their second straight game and fourth in five.
The win moved Toronto, 24-21, three games above .500 for the first time this season.
The Raptors, who lead the NBA's Atlantic Division by three games over the Brooklyn Nets, were 16-29 after 45 games last season on their way to missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year.
The Raptors led by as many as 19 points.
Orlando (12-35) cut the Toronto lead to eight points with 7:20 to go in the third quarter but that's as close as the Magic got on the way to losing their 10th consecutive game on the road.
Facing the NBA's worst road team, the Raptors jumped on Orlando from the start.
Toronto led 55-40 at halftime on the strength of a record-tying performance from three-point range.
The Raptors matched a club record from November, 2009, with eight three-pointers in a quarter in the first, and hit 11 of their first 12 shots of the night from beyond the arc. A stretch of nine straight was the first time the team made that many consecutively since February, 2005, against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lowry hit his first five three-point shots -- all in the opening quarter -- to lead all scorers with 17 points as Toronto took a 33-20 lead after 12 minutes. He was 7-for-11 from the field for 20 points at halftime.
While the Raptors shot a respectable 50 per cent -- 21-for-42 -- from the field in the first half, the Magic were a woeful 15-for-44 for 34 per cent, including just 3-for-11 from three-point range.
The Raptors now head out West on a tough, five-game road trip.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014