Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan Pours in 28 Points in Raptors' 103-99 Win over Mavericks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan Pours in 28 Points in Raptors' 103-99 Win over Mavericks

Article excerpt

DeRozan scores 28 in Raps' win over Mavericks

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TORONTO - By the start of the second half Tuesday night, the Toronto Raptors' bench had dwindled down to just four players -- three of whom rarely play.

But Toronto held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 behind 28 points from DeMar DeRozan and a career-high 20 rebounds from Bismack Biyombo, and now the Raptors head into the brief, but much-needed, Christmas break on a win.

"We were a few men down, I think five or six guys down," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "Our guys responded. It wasn't pretty, but they found a way."

Kyle Lowry had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards and added seven assists for the Raptors (18-12), who were down to nine players by the second half. Terrence Ross scored 16 points, while Luis Scola chipped in with 15 and Cory Joseph had 12.

Already missing starters Jonas Valanciunas (broken hand) and DeMarre Carroll (knee injury), the Raptors lost another forward when James Johnson sprained his ankle in the pre-game warmup. Patrick Patterson, who was suffering what the team called "flu-like symptoms" didn't return after halftime.

The absences meant meaningful minutes for Toronto native Anthony Bennett, plus Lucas Nogueira and Delon Wright.

"Super strange," Lowry said on the depleted roster. "But we've got a resilient team and everybody stepped up, and it was a good game for us overall.

"You're a professional, this is your job, you've got to be prepared to play, and I think these guys have done a great job of staying prepared. Our coaching staff does a great job with those guys, keeping them ready, and making sure that they understand that you never know when your number's called."

Two nights after their worst first quarter of the season -- a 104-94 loss to Sacramento -- a fired-up Raptors squad rebounded with its best. They ended the first up 32-16, both their largest first-quarter lead this season, and fewest points they've allowed.

"We got our (butt) kicked at the beginning of the game," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. …

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