Raptors snap Rockets' 17-game win streak with narrow 108-105 win
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives to the net past Houston Rockets centre Nene Hilario (42) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Friday, March 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 9, 2018 10:19PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 9, 2018 10:21PM EST
TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry had 30 points as the Toronto Raptors snapped the Houston Rockets' 17-game win streak with a 108-105 victory on Friday at Air Canada Centre.
Lowry went 7 for 9 from three-point range and had six assists while DeMar DeRozan added 23 points and seven rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Eric Gordon hit a three-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining pulling Houston to within one, 106-105, but Valanciunas responded by draining a pair of free throws as the Raptors hung on for the win.
The victory stretches Toronto's win streak to seven games. The Raptors (48-17) have won 14-of-15 and now have a 2.5 game lead over the idle Boston Celtics atop the Eastern Conference standings.
James Harden had a game-high 40 points, four assists and two rebounds for the Rockets (51-14). Chris Paul and Gordon each added 14 points.
Houston outscored the Raptors 32-25 in the third quarter, cutting Toronto's lead to 83-75.
Harden led the way with 14 third-quarter points while going 2 for 3 from beyond the arc. Gordon added six points off the bench as Houston shot 61 per cent from the field in the quarter.
Lowry had 16 points and DeRozan 14 as Toronto took a 58-43 lead into the break. The duo combined to go 6 for 9 from three-point range in the half. Malcolm Miller added seven first-half points in six minutes of action off the bench for Toronto.
With his 14 first-half points, DeRozan reached 13,000 points for his NBA career. He became the eighth player since 2009-10 to reach the milestone. He's also the third player from the 2009 draft to hit the mark.
Harden led the Rockets with 14 points and four rebounds through two quarters. Clint Capela added eight points and seven rebounds at the break.
The Raptors held the Rockets to a season-worst 11 per cent from three-point range in the first half.
Toronto led 32-16 after one quarter. Lowry went 3 for 3 from three-point range and had 13 points as DeRozan added seven points and three rebounds.
The Raptors shot 62 per cent from the field while holding the Rockets to just 29 per cent. Houston also went 0 for 5 from three-point range in the opening quarter.
Notes: Raptors G Delon Wright missed his first game due to a toe injury suffered in Wednesday's win in Detroit. ΓÇª Toronto F OG Anunoby sat out his fifth game with an ankle sprain.