TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors have made history, winning a franchise-record 10 games in a row.
Toronto’s all-stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points apiece to lift the Raptors to a 103-93 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday, breaking a record that had stood for 14 years.
Lowry, whose sore wrist had him questionable to play right up until the players took the court for warmup, added 10 assists and six rebounds on the night. DeRozan’s solid performance came just hours after he was named an NBA all-star reserve.
Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 11 points and 18 rebounds for Toronto (31-15), while Cory Joseph had 11 points and Patrick Patterson chipped in with 10.
The Raptors’ previous win streak was back in the spring of 2002, March 22-April 3. This historic hot stretch – the longest active win streak in the NBA – began Jan. 6 in Brooklyn. And then, one by one, they racked up the wins: Washington twice, Philadelphia, Orlando, Brooklyn again, Boston, Miami, and the L.A. Clippers.
Thursday night, the Raptors led by as much as 14 points against a pesky Knicks team that was missing starting point guard and former Raptor Jose Calderon (groin), Carmelo Anthony (knee), and rookie Kristaps Porzingis (upper respiratory illness).
A fadeaway jumper from Derrick Williams pulled the Knicks to within eight points with 3:10 to play in front of a capacity crowd of 19,800 fans at the Air Canada Centre, before Lowry lit it up with eight straight points to put the Raptors safely ahead for good with 1:45 to play.
Arron Afflalo scored 20 points to top the Knicks (22-26).
The Raptors honoured DeRozan with a video tribute during a timeout midway through the first quarter. When play resumed, and with the Raptors trailing by six, DeRozan cut to the hoop for a dunk that sparked a 16-6 run, and Toronto went into the second quarter leading 27-21.
Lowry drilled a three-pointer four minutes before halftime that stretched Toronto’s advantage to 14 points. They led 53-43 at the break.
The Knicks pulled to within a point midway through the third, but coach Dwane Casey went to his bench to halt their momentum. It worked, as the Raptors pulled away to lead 73-63 with one quarter left.
The Raptors host Detroit on Saturday.
© 2016 The Canadian Press