The Raptors may have been without point guard Kyle Lowry, whose right wrist injury is cause for concern, but All-Star backcourt-mate DeMar DeRozan made sure Toronto didn’t spoil the impressive debuts of new teammates Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker in a 107-97 victory against the Boston Celtics.
DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points on 15-of-28 shooting, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line, to help the Raptors pick up a game on both the Celtics and Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto (34-24) pulled even in the win column with Washington (34-22) and now trails Boston (37-21) by just three games for second place behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors trailed by as many as 17 points, but stingy perimeter defense kept Isaiah Thomas in check (20 points on 17 shots) and DeRozan did the rest to erase Boston’s lead early in the third quarter.
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