Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan Scores 27 Points in Toronto Raptors' 108-100 Victory over Sixers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan Scores 27 Points in Toronto Raptors' 108-100 Victory over Sixers

Article excerpt

DeRozan scores 27 in Raptors' win over Sixers

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TORONTO - In the span of a minute Friday, Terrence Ross scored on an alley-oop, a three-pointer and a massive running dunk, taking off from near the top of the key.

The 22-year-old started his second game in place of the departed Rudy Gay, and made the most of it, scoring 24 points -- including a key three in the dying minutes -- to lift the revamped Toronto Raptors to a 108-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

"The main thing is staying focused so I can play at this level, I'm really trying to just know my job, know my role and just make sure we have the chemistry going and keep winning," Ross said afterward.

DeMar DeRozan poured in a game-high 27 points for Toronto (8-13) on what was a good night to be a Raptors swingman.

"Talk about bouncy athletes," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "You go with Ross and DeRozan, you take the athleticism plus they can come off screens and shoot like they do. They're hard guards, they're really difficult people to defend. Those two guys had fantastic games throughout."

Amir Johnson had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 12 points to go with 13 boards, and Kyle Lowry doled out a season-high 11 assists and added six points.

Tony Wroten topped the Sixers (7-17) with 23 points. Evan Turner had 21 points, while Thaddeus Young finished with 18.

The game marked the first action for Raptors newcomers Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and John Salmons since they were acquired in Monday's trade that sent Gay, plus Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento.

Vasquez scored 12 points, while Patterson had five points and five boards and showed flashes of nice interior defence.

"They're learning the system, learning to play with each other," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "Learning where guys want the ball is huge. I thought they were a little tight playing tonight for the first time which is understandable, but I like what I saw. I think they're going to mix in quite well."

The Raptors almost coughed up an early 15-point lead several times during the game against their Atlantic Division rivals, but took an 83-76 lead into the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 17,133 at Air Canada Centre.

Johnson and Vasquez drained consecutive three-pointers to put Toronto up by 14 with just over seven minutes to go and the Raptors looked poised for an easy victory. But the Sixers battled back and a three by Turner with 2:10 to go pulled them within 100-96.

A couple of nice passes on the Raptors' next possession found Ross open in the corner, and he drained a three to give Toronto some breathing room, the basket pulling him to within two points of his career high.

"That stopped the flow a little bit," Casey said. "His big three in the corner was huge."

Casey said the challenge for Ross is to maintain a high level of play -- easier said than done for a young player. …

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