Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Reserves Lift Raptors to Eighth Straight Win, a 112-94 Victory over Clippers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Reserves Lift Raptors to Eighth Straight Win, a 112-94 Victory over Clippers

Article excerpt

Bench lifts Raptors to eighth straight win


TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors' eighth win in a row was all thanks to their bench.

All-star guard Kyle Lowry had 21 points to lead the Raptors to a 112-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night but it was Toronto's reserves that did the heavy lifting. Terrence Ross had 18 points, Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo 10 apiece while Cory Joseph added 12 off the bench.

"We did a good job," said Joseph, who also had three assists and two steals in 22:40 of play time. "We did a good job of coming in with a lot of energy, picking up the pace and running up the score."

As strong as their offensive play was, the secondary unit was also solid defensively. Ross was plus-25, Patterson plus-31, Biyombo plus-24 and Joseph plus-33. Their sound defensive play turned the game around for the Raptors who came out slow in the first quarter, trailing 34-27 after the first 12 minutes of play.

"We gave up 34 in the first quarter and I thought it was going to be a long night," said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey, who emphasized the depth from the bench would be crucial deeper into the season. "The second unit came in and changed the game, started getting into bodies and getting into players, being physical.

"I thought that changed the mentality."

DeMar DeRozan, who hopes to join Lowry at the all-star game, scored 18 points for the Raptors (29-15). Lowry added six assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and eight rebounds despite early foul trouble.

It is Toronto's longest winning streak since Casey started coaching the team in 2011 and the franchise's longest run of victories since a nine-game stretch in 2002.

"It's good, but we've got to understand that we're doing this for the long run," said DeRozan of the streak. "Find the rhythm and understand how to play, how to win games, how to sustain leads, how to fight when we need to fight. Those types of things.

"The record is great but we've got to understand how to do this consistently, especially when everything matters."

Chris Paul led the Clippers (28-16) with 23 points and 11 assists. …

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