DeRozan leads Raptors past Hornets 104-97 in OT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kyle Lowry didn't start against the Hornets. He certainly finished them off, though.
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Lowry, back from a partial triceps tear that kept him out of seven straight games, had two huge baskets in overtime as the Toronto Raptors held off New Orleans 104-97 on Friday night.
The Raptors, who never trailed in the second half, scored nine of the first 11 points in overtime after blowing a seven-point lead in the last 1:30 of regulation. Amir Johnson scored under the basket to give Toronto a 93-91 lead. Lowry then drove the baseline for a reverse layup and hit a 3-pointer to make it 98-93.
New Orleans never got closer than five the rest of the way.
"We came out with a fury (in overtime)," Lowry said. "We came out shooting to win the game."
Toronto coach Dwane Casey kept Lowry's replacement, Jose Calderon, in the starting lineup at point guard, saying before the game that Calderon had "earned it" when the Raptors recently won five in a row. Both players were on the floor at the start of overtime, when Lowry hit his two biggest shots.
He finished with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting, with a team-high eight assists and zero turnovers in 27:31.
"He was a little rusty and got a little winded," Casey said. "That's why I had to get him out a little bit. But his aggression helped us, his toughness helped us."
Lowry was conscious of not trying to force too much, an issue before he got hurt. Toronto had been 2-14 in the 16 games he played and 7-6 in games he missed.
This time, he helped the Raptors overcome a tough shooting night from Calderon, who went 1 of 6 but had six assists.
"The last couple of weeks, the team has been moving the ball really well," Lowry said. "I just wanted to keep that going and not try to do too much. Jose is a great player and he made great decisions. He spaces us very well and makes our job a lot easier."
DeRozan hit two free throws and an outside shot that made the score 102-95 with 31.7 seconds left. Alan Anderson added 14 points for the Raptors.
Rookie big man Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 25 points and nine rebounds. Greivis Vaszquez added 20 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, falling just shy of his first career triple-double.
The Raptors won for just the third time in 18 road games. The Hornets fell to 3-12 at home and 0-3 in overtime.
With Toronto leading 85-83, DeRozan scored on a driving layup, then stole Austin Rivers' pass and converted a three-point play to make the score 90-83 with 1:38 left.
The Hornets responded with a 3-pointer from Brian Roberts and a driving layup by Vasquez to cut the margin to 90-88. After DeRozan sank one of two free throws, the Hornets' Ryan Anderson drained a tying 3-pointer that hit the rim twice before falling in with 8.1 seconds left.
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