Raptors halt Rockets' six-game win streak
HOUSTON -- DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 27 points as six Toronto Raptors reached double figures in a 129-113 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night at Toyota Center.
The Raptors (8-5) outflanked the high-scoring Rockets (11-4) and snapped their six-game winning streak in the process. Kyle Lowry and C.J. Miles scored 19 points apiece for Toronto, with Miles drilling 6 of 9 3-pointers off the bench. Delon Wright added 14 points.
Toronto shot 51.9 from the floor and finished 33 of 42 at the free-throw line. Houston sliced a 20-point deficit to 108-103 midway through the fourth quarter but followed with a string of turnovers that fueled another Raptors run to a double-digit lead. The Rockets had 19 turnovers.
James Harden paced Houston with 38 points and 11 assists, finishing 19 of 19 at the line. Trevor Ariza chipped in 20 point. Eric Gordon added 12 but missed all seven of his 3s.
What was a strong close to the first quarter for the Raptors offered a glimpse of what was to come in the second. Toronto followed an OG Anunoby trey with a DeRozan three-point play inside the final minute to erase most of the Rockets' eight-point lead, their largest of the game.
Starting with an 11-2 run that secured the lead early in the second quarter, the Raptors initiated an unstoppable offensive roll. Whether by unimpeded forays to the rim or wide-open shots from behind the arc, the Raptors had their way.
While Houston managed only three during the first half of the second quarter, Toronto scored in every conceivable manner to stretch its lead.
Two Lowry free throws bumped the margin to 55-44 with 5:41 left. The Rockets managed four 3s down the stretch of the half, but that had little influence on their defensive effectiveness.
Toronto made 13 of 18 shots from the floor in the second quarter, including half of its six 3-pointers. Mix in 16-of-20 shooting from the line and the recipe for their 45-point period was complete.
NOTES: Raptors G Norman Powell was sidelined with a right hip pointer sustained Sunday in Boston. Powell logged just seven minutes against the Celtics before exiting. Rookie F OG Anunoby filled in for Powell and made his first start of his career. ... Rockets C Nene missed a second consecutive game with a right foot sprain. His status for Thursday in Phoenix is questionable. ... After recording 10-plus steals in each of their past three games, the Rockets finished with only four steals -- all in the second half. Houston entered Tuesday ranked fourth in the NBA with 9.21 steals per game.