Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Raptors cruise to record victory

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 26, Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and nine rebounds and the Raptors earned their franchise-record 50th victory of the season Wednesday night, 105-97 over the Hawks.

DeRozan added six assists and five rebounds and Kyle Lowry had 17 points, 11 assists and six rebounds as Toronto won for just the second time in five games. The Raptors became the final franchise in the NBA to reach 50 wins in a season.

Jeff Teague had 18 points for the Hawks, whose four-game winning streak was snapped. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points and Paul Millsap had seven points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which has won 14 of its past 18.

The Raptors took the lead for good early in the first quarter and led by as many as 24 points late in the third before Atlanta scored 14 straight in the fourth to make a game of it.

Hardaway Jr. had eight points over that stretch, including two 3-pointers.

But with their lead down to 93-84, Toronto reeled off six straight points.

The Raptors led 89-67 going into the fourth quarter on the strength of a 31-14 run over the final nine minutes of the third.

After the Hawks opened the second half by scoring 12 of the first 16, Toronto took over.

The Raptors hit four 3s in the third quarter, including two by rookie guard Norman Powell, who had 10 points in the quarter.

Toronto had widened its lead to 54-41 at halftime as Lowry and DeRozan combined for 18 points in the second quarter alone.

LATE TUESDAY: Steve Kerr and his do-everything superstar, Stephen Curry, expected Golden State to build on its championship run of last season.

This record, though? No way.

And 60 games over .500 at this stage? Yeah, right.

Curry hit six 3-pointers to increase his record total on the way to 26 points, and host Warriors beat the Wizards 102-94 to stay on track for the all-time wins record.

Klay Thompson followed back-to-back 40-point games with 16 as Golden State (67-7) stayed a game ahead of the 1995-96 Bulls' pace during their 72-10 season. The Warriors matched their win total of last season and must win six of their final eight games to have the record all to themselves.

Kerr thought "maybe our record would get a little worse" as defending champs.

"I was under the same impression that our record might not be indicative of the progress we might have made over the course of the season. And not to get discouraged if we couldn't match what we did last year knowing that the ultimate goal is to win a championship," Curry said.

"As you go through the season and kind of get lost in the journey, we should be able to accomplish both: be a better team and better our record, which we're on our way to doing. For us to be playing at such a high level for two straight years and have our eyes set on the ultimate goal, it's fun."

Draymond Green had 15 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists to just miss back-to-back triple doubles in the Warriors' 54th straight regular-season home win and 36th in a row this season.

ROOKIE SORRY: D'Angelo Russell said he must rebuild the Lakers' trust in him after he took an unflattering video of teammate Nick Young. The rookie point guard apologized profusely for the video, saying he intended it as a joke between easygoing teammates and had no idea how it became public. In Russell's video, he asked Young about being with women other than his fiancee, rapper Iggy Azalea. The video began circulating online in the past week. Young said the dispute should be settled within the locker room, but didn't say he has forgiven Russell.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Chris Paul is passing up a shot at Olympic history to take a much-needed summer off. The Clippers point guard said it was a difficult decision to pull his name from consideration for this summer's Olympics in Rio, but after spending a decade playing for USA Basketball he felt it was time for a breather. … Four fans trying to get an autograph from Stephen Curry fell out of the stands when a railing dislodged before the Jazz hosted the Warriors. … The Kings signed general manager and vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac to a new multiyear contract.

Raptors 105, Hawks 97

ATLANTA (97): Bazemore 4-10 0-2 9, Millsap 3-8 0-0 7, Horford 3-9 0-0 7, Teague 8-13 1-1 18, Korver 1-6 1-1 3, Hardaway Jr. 5-9 1-1 15, Humphries 1-3 1-1 4, Sefolosha 0-0 0-0 0, Schroder 4-13 4-5 13, Scott 5-8 0-0 12, Hinrich 1-1 0-0 3, Muscala 2-3 1-2 6. Totals 37-83 9-13 97.

TORONTO (105): Powell 3-6 2-2 10, Thompson 1-3 0-0 2, Valanciunas 9-13 1-2 19, Lowry 4-19 7-8 17, DeRozan 9-16 5-6 26, P.Patterson 3-7 1-2 9, Joseph 1-5 0-0 2, Biyombo 1-1 5-6 7, Ross 5-10 1-2 13. Totals 36-80 22-28 105.

Atlanta 20 21 26 30— 97

Toronto 25 29 35 16— 105

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 14-33 (Hardaway Jr. 4-7, Scott 2-4, Teague 1-1, Hinrich 1-1, Muscala 1-2, Horford 1-3, Schroder 1-3, Bazemore 1-3, Humphries 1-3, Millsap 1-4, Korver 0-2), Toronto 11-23 (DeRozan 3-4, Powell 2-3, P.Patterson 2-4, Lowry 2-4, Ross 2-5, Joseph 0-3). Fouled OutValanciunas. ReboundsAtlanta 46 (Millsap 9), Toronto 54 (Valanciunas 9). AssistsAtlanta 24 (Hardaway Jr., Bazemore, Horford, Teague 3), Toronto 26 (Lowry 11). Total FoulsAtlanta 19, Toronto 19. TechnicalsToronto defensive three second 2. Flagrant Fouls—Humphries. A19,800 (19,800).

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