Game Rap: Raptors 107, Rockets 113

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com


DeMar DeRozan was called for a foul against Patrick Beverley with a minute remaining. Upon review, the foul was upgraded to a flagrant and Beverley went one of two from the line to put the Rockets ahead by five. Because of the flagrant, the Rockets also retained possession. After a Clint Capela bucket to extend the Houston lead to seven with 19.3 seconds remaining, the Raptors ran out of time. The 113-107 loss dropped Toronto to 41-20 on the season.


Toronto got off to a solid start, and led by 18 points midway through the second quarter after a Kyle Lowry 3-pointer. Houston made a late push to close the half, and the Raptors led by 10 points, 61-51, at the break.


Although James Harden started to heat up in the third and scored 12 points in the quarter, DeMar DeRozan matched his quarter scoring total. DeRozan’s 12 points were half of Toronto’s 24 points in the quarter and helped Toronto go into the fourth ahead by seven despite the Rockets defence holding the Raptors to 43 percent shooting following 52-percent shooting in the first half.


James Harden wasted little time getting to work in the final quarter. After Houston struggled from deep for the first three quarters, the 3-pointers started falling in the fourth and the Rockets came charging back behind an 18-point quarter from Harden who finished with 40 points while playing the entire second half. Despite tired legs and playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Rockets outscored Toronto 36-22 in the fourth, shooting 71 percent from the floor.


Luis Scola scored 21 points in 21 minutes to lead the Raptors in scoring. Scola shot 9-for-13 from the floor, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. He added three rebounds and a steal as the Raptors were a +7 while he was on the floor.


Kyle Lowry scored 17 points in 38 minutes of action. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor and made four of his seven attempts from deep, while adding a team-high nine assists, four rebounds and three steals.


“That’s been our weakness all year. I’ve said that millions of times. We’ve luckily won some of those games, but I’ve always said it’s going to come back and bite us. We have to keep the same intensity when we get leads, the same quality of possessions offensively.”- Dwane Casey on his team losing after being up big


16… Turnovers for Toronto, leading to 21 points for the Rockets.3… Technical fouls called in the game: Two for Houston, one on head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and one on Patrick Beverley. On Toronto’s side, Dwane Casey picked up a rare technical.2… Flagrant fouls called: One on Houston’s Dwight Howard and one on Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.40… Points scored by James Harden who also added a game-high 14 assists. Harden shot 11-for-20 from the floor, 3-for-7 from three, 15-for-19 from the free throw line and added five rebounds and an assist in 43 minutes.11… Rebounds for Jonas Valanciunas who notched his 15th double-double of the season. Valanciunas scored 12 points, reaching double-figures in a career-high 14 consecutive games.


“It’s the kind of thing that has been occurring too much for us. We have to get better defensively. We are giving up 100 points like it’s nothing. Coach probably said it in his postgame press conference and as a team we all agree that we have to get better defensively.”- Kyle Lowry on losing a large first-half lead“We are so used to trying to protect the paint, keep the ball out of the paint and not let teams get easy shots in the paint. Sometimes we lose focus and [we have to] understand that we have to get out to the 3-point line as well. We can’t let teams get going and we have to run them off the line and continue to do that.”- DeMar DeRozan on needing to get better at guarding the 3-point line“I thought his hustle and his intensity was good, getting us started. He and Pat [Patterson] both, I thought, gave it to us.”- Dwane Casey on the play of Luis Scola“The defensive coach has been on us all year about that. We just have to figure out a way to lock in. Try to get better at it. Contain the 3-point ball and do better defensively. For us it’s just one game. We stay positive and it’s still an impressive home record right now. We’ve got Brooklyn on Tuesday. We are continuing to take it day-by-day and game-by-game.”- Kyle Lowry on guarding the 3-point line and shifting focus to the next game


The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night at 7:30 P.M. ET.