DeRozan, Lowry return to form, lead Raptors to crucial win over Celtics

Yes, Calderon scored more than twice as many points in the first quarter as the Raptors all-star scored all game long. Updates with new lead. Kyle Lowry shot 2-11 from the field, including 1-7 from deep, and turned the ball over as many times as he dished an assist.

Every time Toronto made a run - cutting the deficit to five and two points in the third and fourth quarters - the Cavaliers got a good look and made an open shot.

Toronto will continue its hard stretch with a home game Friday against the Indiana Pacers, who now sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. Then another first-round struggle a year ago against Milwaukee and a thumping from Cleveland, which takes a small asterisk because Kyle Lowry went down with an injury.

On the road, Toronto is 21-17 ATS with 21 overs and 17 unders.

"Jose is just a guy who knows how to play his position", interim coach Larry Drew said.

With its 56th win of the season, Toronto matched the franchise record set in 2015-16. James put up a double-double in the victory with 35 points and 17 assists.

The Toronto Raptors (55-21) take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (47-30) at Quicken Loans Arena.

Calderon has not gotten off the bench in 23 games this season due to coaching decisions - he's been injury free - but he's not complaining.

John Wall had nearly as many turnovers (8) as points (9) and a awful minus-18 rating in an ugly 120-104 loss to the Rockets. "They were very physical". He also has made 53.8 percent of his shots, including 36.8 percent of his long-range attempts. Their collective record against the Golden State Warriors, Cavaliers and Celtics is 2-6, with one game remaining against Boston. "When you have games like we had [Tuesday against Cleveland], to be able to understand, you know, let's tighten it up, understand our mistakes and come out the next night and handle business". Nance scored six points in 16 minutes. "I've been cuttin' tobacco and I'm pretty exhausted", Enos "Country" Slaughter said. Eric Bledsoe had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting for Milwaukee which needs one more win or a Detroit loss to clinch a playoff berth. "You're looking for five guys that are going to compete and we did".

DeMar DeRozan: This was not a good shooting night for DeRozan, but he still managed to make all the big shots when needed to help Toronto take control of the game and never relinquish it.

The game should be a battle of strength against strength as the high-octane offense of Cleveland (fifth in the league with an offensive efficiency of 110.9) takes on the top-notch defense of Toronto (fifth in the National Basketball Association with a defensive efficiency of 104.4). After an opening quarter that saw the lead change hands several times, the Celtics held a 20-14 lead. G Shane Larkin (illness) did not travel to Toronto. Embiid missed a fourth straight game because of a concussion and orbital fracture.

Anthony Tolliver scored 25 points for the Pistons. The Raptors outscored the Celtics 54-34 on points in the paint. The previous meeting, Boston was running the floor and penetrating the paint continuously.

Rozier failed to reach double digits in scoring for the first time in 26 games.

  • Julie Sanders