DeRozan Spoils Lillard’s Milestone
TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan’s big night from outside the arc spoiled Damian Lillard’s milestone moment.
DeRozan scored 35 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 and the Toronto Raptors beat Portland 130-105 on Friday night, their sixth straight win over the Trail Blazers.
Fred VanVleet scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry had 13 to 15 and Pascal Siakam since their home record improved to 20-4.
DeRozan made 11 of 22 shots and matched his own career-high by making six 3-pointers. He finished 6 for 10.
“We didn’t really force much and we have shots we wanted,” DeRozan explained.
Lillard scored 32 points, becoming the fastest player in franchise history to reach 10,000 for his career, but Portland’s four-game winning streak was snapped. The Blazers have dropped five of their previous seven on the road.
“It is something I’m very happy about,” Lillard said of 10,000 points. “Now I’ve just got to keep on moving up”
The Raptors made a season. Toronto shot at 19 with nine players making a minumum of one 3-pointer from behind the arc, for 40.
“The 3-point lineup was a huge factor tonight,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
No other Portland player had more than five during the first few quarters, although CJ McCollum scored 21 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 20.
The Blazers opened on a losing note after winning an 11 games in January.
“I thought the Raptors played very well and we didn’t have lots of answers for them,” Stotts said.
Lillard arrived in 12 points off from 10,000. He reached the landmark on a layup with 45 seconds left in the first quarter, then passed it .
DeRozan scored 16 points and Valanciunas had 11 as the Raptors led. Lillard was the sole Portland player to deliver in the opening quarter, scoring 12 points and making 4 of 5 shots. The rest of the Blazers combined to shoot at two.
“We dug ourselves a hole early,” Lillard said.
Trail Blazers: Lillard scored Portland’s first nine points. … McCollum, who scored 28 points in the first quarter of his 50-point functionality Wednesday, didn’t score in the opening quarter against Toronto, missing all three of his shots. … Lillard led the Blazers with 10 assists. … Portland has scored 100 or more points in 17 straight games.
Raptors: F C.J. Miles (right knee) missed his third straight game. … DeRozan’s 26-points first half matched his highest-scoring half this season. … Toronto outscored Portland 26-7 in second-chance points. … The Raptors have scored 120 or more points 16 times this year, next only to Golden State (23).
Lillard is the player to get 10,000 points and 2,500 assists in his first six seasons. Others are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Nate Archibald, Pete Maravich, Dave Bing and Oscar Robertson.
“it is a quite a record,” Stotts said. “All Hall of Famers except for LeBron, and I think he’s a chance to get in, also.”
Lillard stated DeRozan’s newfound ability from long range makes him more challenging to defend.
“He was already a handful with his size and athleticism and how crafty he is,” Lillard said. “Now you’re chasing him on the top of screens and he is pulling up from 3 off the dribble, lifting up and shooting it just like that has been his shooter.”
Lillard is one of four active players to reach 10,000 points in his first six seasons. Others are James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony.
Trail Blazers: Visit Boston on Sunday, their first meeting of the season with the Celtics.
The teams split last season, each winning on the home court of the other.
Raptors: A four game homestand continues Sunday from Memphis. The Raptors have won four straight home meetings.
NBA Football: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
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