NBA: DeMar DeRozan gets 40 points, Toronto Raptors rally again to beat Miami Heat 101-84

Toronto Raptors have now won 19 games this season after trailing by at least 10 points, more than any team in the NBA.

By: AP | Miami | Published:March 24, 2017 1:33 pm
nba, nba eastern conference, nba east, nba, national basketball association, toronto raptors, miami heat, toronto vs miami, demar derozan, basket ball, nba news, nba standings, sports news DeMar DeRozan picked up his sixth 40-point game this season. (Source: Reuters/USA TODAY Sports)

Down by 15 early, the Toronto Raptors had no reason to panic. Trouble brings out their best. DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points – doing that back-to-back for the first time in his career – and the Raptors clamped down defensively in the final three quarters to beat the Miami Heat 101-84 in the NBA on Thursday night.

Toronto has now won 19 games this season after trailing by at least 10 points, more than any team in the NBA.

“It talks about toughness, heart,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Our give-a-crap level is pretty high, and it’s one of those things where when you count us out, we find a way. My thing is just find five men who are going to play hard.”

Playing with 13 stitches in his right hand and some padding and bandages to protect the injury, Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Miami. Whiteside seemed a bit limited – his first two shots were rather gentle dunks, not his usual make-the-backboard-shake variety.

His injury situation even got worse: Whiteside sprained his left ankle late in the game.

“Very inspiring, just to see him out there battling,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Even with one good hand at the start and one good ankle at the finish, Whiteside was one of Miami’s lone offensive bright spots. Rodney McGruder and Goran Dragic each scored 13 for Miami, which shot 39 percent and tied its second-lowest scoring total of the season.

“No one’s going to feel sorry for me,” said Whiteside, who had a bag over his cut hand, two icepacks on his knees and a wrap on his newly injured ankle as he sat at his locker postgame.

DeRozan needed 38 shots to score 42 points against Chicago on Tuesday. He was much more effective in this one, shooting 14 for 25 from the field and 12 for 13 from the line.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and try to pick it up on the defensive end as well, not just trying to go up there scoring,” DeRozan said. “We slowly started getting into it and started playing like we wanted to play.”

Neither team moved in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Toronto (43-29) remained in the No. 4 spot, pulling within a half-game of No. 3 Washington. Miami (35-37) stayed No. 8, now just a game ahead of No. 9 Chicago and No. 10 Detroit.

DeRozan became the second player in Toronto history to have a season where he scored 32 or more points at least 20 times. He was an 11-year-old when it last happened – Vince Carter had 28 of those games in 2000-01. It was also DeRozan’s sixth 40-point game this season, extending his Toronto single-season mark.

SPURS 97, GRIZZLIES 90

SAN ANTONIO: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Kawhi Leonard added 19 as San Antonio beat Memphis in a possible first-round playoff preview.

San Antonio opened a four-game homestand by moving two games behind idle Golden State for the league’s best record. The Spurs (55-16) close the homestand against the Warriors (57-14) next Wednesday.

Memphis (40-32) is seventh in the Western Conference, which would result in a first-round matchup with San Antonio if the standings remain.

Mike Conley had 22 points and six assists for Memphis, which lost its third straight to fall 1 { games behind Oklahoma City for sixth place.

Marc Gasol, who had 13 points, was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures.

MAVERICKS 97, CLIPPERS 95

DALLAS: Harrison Barnes made the go-ahead basket, then stole the ball from Blake Griffin with 3.9 seconds left as Dallas beat Los Angeles.

Barnes made a 14-foot jumper with 1:06 remaining for the game’s 11th lead change, making it 96-95. After he stripped Griffin, Wesley Matthews made a free throw with 0.9 seconds to play before J.J. Redick missed a 3-point attempt that would have won it at the buzzer.

Griffin scored 21 points, including nine in a row in the fourth quarter, but the Clippers had their three-game winning streak snapped. Dallas, battling from behind for a playoff berth, had lost four of six.

Seth Curry led Dallas with 23 points. Barnes finished with 21 and Dirk Nowitzki had 14.

DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Clippers. Chris Paul scored 15 points and Austin Rivers had 13.

NETS 126, SUNS 98

NEW YORK: Brook Lopez scored 19 points and K.J. McDaniels had a season-high 16 as Brooklyn beat Phoenix to give the Nets consecutive victories for the first time this season.

Trevor Booker added 14 points as one of six reserves in double figures for the league-worst Nets, who beat Detroit on Tuesday.

Devin Booker scored 28 points and Marquese Chriss had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns. Alex Len had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Brooklyn took a commanding 84-65 lead into the fourth quarter as Lopez scored 12 points in the third quarter. Brooklyn held Phoenix to 15 points, the fewest points the Nets have allowed in the third quarter this season.

Phoenix opened the game with a 17-4 run and led 32-22 after the first quarter. However, Brooklyn turned the tide in the second quarter and took a 52-50 lead into the halftime.

TRAIL BLAZER 110, KNICKS 95

PORTLAND: Damian Lillard scored 30 points and the Portland Trail Blazers never trailed against the New York Knicks.

Lillard had 15 in the first quarter as Portland opened a 14-point lead. The Blazers led by as much as 23 and moved within a game of the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points for the Knicks, who played without Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.

Lillard entered Thursday’s game averaging 31.2 points since the All-Star break and didn’t cool off. He has scored 25 or more in eight straight games, a career-best streak.

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