DeMar DeRozan scores 26 points for Raptors in 96-80 win over Nets - InfoNews

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DeMar DeRozan scores 26 points for Raptors in 96-80 win over Nets

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan scores against Brooklyn Nets during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Saturday January 11 , 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
January 11, 2014 - 6:40 PM

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan had 26 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a comeback victory Saturday night.

The Raptors guard hit a 22-foot jump shot in the final minute of the third quarter to give the Toronto the lead for good as the team went on to a 96-80 win over the Brooklyn Nets at a sold-out Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors' second win in a row came on Drake Night, honouring the Toronto rapper and the team's global ambassador. He hugged DeRozan and some of the other starters as they walked by his courtside seats after being substituted off the floor with just over a minute to go in the fourth quarter.

Terrence Ross added 14 points for the Raptors while Patrick Patterson had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

After Brooklyn built its biggest lead of the night at 10 points at the midway mark of the third quarter, the Raptors went on a 28-5 run over the next 10:33 to secure their seventh win in the last nine games.

After 35 games, the Raptors are 18-17 and atop the Atlantic Division, four games up on the Nets.

At this point last season, Toronto was 13-22.

Paul Pierce had 15 points to lead the Nets (15-22), who had a five-game win streak snapped.

Toronto took a 68-64 lead into the final quarter after closing the third on an 18-4 run.

The Nets had threatened to run away with the game early in the second half, outscoring the Raptors 18-3 in the opening six minutes of the third quarter to take a 10-point lead.

Alan Anderson paced the Nets with seven points over that stretch while Paul Pierce added a half dozen.

But just as the first half of the period belonged to the Nets, the late stages were all Raptors.

After Brooklyn's Shaun Livingston hit a six-foot jump hook shot to restore the Nets' 10-point lead with 4:54 to go in the quarter, the Raptors scored 16 of the final 18 points to close it out.

DeRozan scored the final seven points of the third quarter, capping it with a 25-foot three-pointer.

The Raptors took a 47-42 lead into the halftime break on the strength of 11 first-half points from Ross, who hit half of Toronto's six three-pointers in the opening 24 minutes.

Toronto, which shot an anemic 38.6 per cent from the field in the first half, led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter. But the Nets, looking for a season-high sixth victory, continued to fight back.

Brooklyn's Mirza Teletovic hit back-to-back three-pointers late in the half to cut the Toronto lead to four.

Toronto led 24-18 after a sloppy first quarter. The teams combined to shoot just 16 for 41 — the Raptors 38.1 per cent and the Nets 40 per cent.

DeRozan topped all scorers in the opening 12 minutes with eight points, including a thunderous one-handed slam dunk after scooping up a loose ball at half court and walking in uncontested.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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