Raptors set new team record

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

The Toronto Raptors have won 50 games for the first time in fran­chise his­tory.

The Raptors reached that mark with a 105- 97 win over the At­lanta Hawks on Wed­nes­day evening. The Raptors sur­passed their pre­vi­ous high of 49 wins, set last sea­son.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors ( 50- 24) with 26 points, in­clud­ing three three­p­oint­ers. Kyle Lowry strug­gled with his shot and a lin­ger­ing el­bow in­jury, manag­ing 17 points and 11 as­sists.

Jonas Valan­ci­u­nas added 19 points and nine re­bounds, tak­ing ad­van­tage of At­lanta’s smaller front court.

The Raptors took a 22-point lead into the fourth quar­ter, but the Hawks quickly cut that cush­ion to sin­gle dig­its with a re­serve- heavy lineup. How­ever, the come­back fell well short.

At­lanta’s nor­mally pro­lific front line of Al Hor­ford and Paul Mill­sap com­bined for just 14 points. Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 18 points.

The Raptors looked to be tee­ter­ing early in the third quar­ter, as a 13-point half­time lead shrunk to five just three min­utes into the frame. How­ever, they went on a 31-14 run the rest of the way. The spurt was keyed by rookie Nor­man Pow­ell. He scored 10 points in the quar­ter, in­clud­ing a play that had him beat Hawks point guard Den­nis Schroder with a cross­over drib­ble be­fore dunk­ing in tran­si­tion.

De­spite hav­ing fluid drained from his right el­bow af­ter Mon­day’s loss to Ok­la­homa City, Lowry started for the Raptors. Lowry was wear­ing a sleeve over the el­bow for most of the game be­fore ditch­ing it in the fourth quar­ter. Casey said he trusted his vet­er­ans, like Lowry and Luis Scola, who sat out with sore left knee, to know when they needed to rest and what they could play through.“He had a lot of stuff drained out of there,’’ Casey said of Lowry’s el­bow be­fore the game. “I don’t even want to de­scribe it. A lot of junk.’’

Lowry missed his first six shots from the field, com­ing up very short on a long two­pointer early in the sec­ond quar­ter, and was badly long on his next at­tempt, a three­p­ointer. He hit his first shot with 4:19 re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter, and hit his next at­tempt, too. He shot 4 for 19 on the night. He had eight as­sists in the first half, help­ing the Raptors take a 54- 41 lead to the break.

Also, Ter­rence Ross re­turned to the lineup for the Raptors, hav­ing missed the pre­vi­ous three games with a left thumb in­jury.

CP PHOTO

Toronto Raptors' Ter­rence Ross (31) re­acts af­ter be­ing foulded At­lanta Hawks' Kyle Korver (26) dur­ing sec­ond half NBA ac­tion in Toronto on Wed­nes­day.

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