Lowry's 11th career triple-double leads Raptors to romp of Nets
DeMar DeRozan scores game-high 31 points
One rebound away from his 11th triple-double, Dwane Casey wasn't going to give Kyle Lowry all night to get it.
It took Lowry just a minute and 38 seconds into the fourth quarter before he snatched the rebound off a Norm Powell miss, and then he headed to the bench triumphant, his triple-double — 10 points, 12 assists, and 10 boards — the highlight of the Raptors 120-87 rout of Brooklyn on Friday.
"I told him in the timeout he had two minutes," Casey said afterward. "I don't believe in messing with the game, but I owe it to one of my veterans if they have something like that to get done, I owe it to them to do it without getting hurt but he had two minutes to do it.
"If he hadn't gotten it in two minutes, he wasn't going to. I don't want to do anything to mess with the game or try to disrespect Brooklyn."
DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points, while Serge Ibaka had 18, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 14, and Jakob Poeltl and Norman Powell chipped in with 11 points apiece, as the Raptors (19-8) won their eighth game in nine outings, and improved their NBA-best home record to 10-1.
Canada's Stauskas dazzles in Nets' debut
Canadian Nik Stauskas scored a team-high 22 points in his Nets debut.
The Raptors dominated the Nets (11-17) in their ninth consecutive victory versus Brooklyn. The Nets' lone outburst came thanks to Stauskas, whose personal 9-0 run to open the second quarter briefly gave the Nets the lead.
"Just to play meaningful minutes in a game and being back home was really exciting for me," said Stauskas, who was acquired in a trade last week from Philadelphia, where he'd long been wallowing on the bench. "Once I saw the first one go down, that's when my confidence started growing and I just let them fly from there."
But by the time DeRozan drained a three-pointer — his first since Nov. 22 — with just under a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Raptors were up by 27 points. They cruised into the fourth quarter with a 91-64 advantage in front of a capacity Air Canada Centre crowd that included Toronto FC striker, and new MLS Cup champion, Sebastian Giovinco.
CHAMP! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FreeKickGod?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FreeKickGod</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TFCLive?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TFCLive</a> <a href="https://t.co/omuLmV8G8b">pic.twitter.com/omuLmV8G8b</a>—@Raptors
'Coach wanted me to get it'
Delon Wright returned after missing the previous 12 games with a shoulder injury, and the back-up guard's alley-oop to Pascal Siakam put the Raptors up by 30 early in the fourth. Toronto's second unit didn't let up and Wright's dunk with 3:14 left made it a 35-point advantage, as dozens of fans beat a hasty exit.
🛫 Flight 43 <a href="https://t.co/4aqZy6mcgH">pic.twitter.com/4aqZy6mcgH</a>—@Raptors
It was Lowry's second triple-double of the season, and he and DeRozan joked about the feat in the post-game locker-room.
"Coach wanted me to get it," Lowry said.
"He's lying. He's lying. He's lying," interjected DeRozan. "He said 'Russell Westbrook can do it any night, I'm going to try to do it."'
"As long as it comes with a win, that's all that matters," Lowry added. "My teammates always support me and my teammates are the reason I'm able to do the things I can do. DeMar made the shot to get me my 10th assist, and I think that's like his fifth time helping me get the 10th assist, so it's been fun."
Kind words from Carroll
The Raptors shot 56 per cent on the night, and made the Nets pay for their 24 turnovers to the tune of 35 points.
The Nets, with three games in four nights, rested DeMarre Carroll. The former Raptor was critical of Toronto after he was traded to the Nets in the off-season, saying the team relied too heavily on isolation basketball. He had kind words for his former team Friday.
"They're moving the ball, they're sharing it, they're playing great basketball," Carroll said. "My hat goes off to them. It's an exciting style of basketball they're playing, and they look like they're the top of the East and the top of the league right now."
DeRozan, who was coming off a season-high 37 points in Wednesday's 115-109 win in Phoenix, led the way with 12 first-quarter points, and his alley-oop dunk from Lowry gave the Raptors an early 11-point lead. Toronto took a 30-20 advantage into the second quarter.
Stauskas drilled three straight threes to open the second quarter, and then converted a three-point play to put the Nets up by four. But the Raptors outscored their visitors 28-10 to close the half, taking a 58-44 lead into the locker-room at the break.
The Raptors host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, then depart for back-to-back games on the road in Charlotte and Philadelphia.