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Kyle Lowry scores 33, rallies Raptors to 101-93 win over Jazz

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TORONTO (AP) Kyle Lowry scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Toronto Raptors to a come-from-behind 101-93 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Lowry, who had 19 points in the final quarter of a comeback win at Utah two weeks ago, added six rebounds and five assists for the Raptors (24-11).

DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and seven rebounds, while Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 13 rebounds as Toronto rallied from a deficit of 11 points in the second period.

The Jazz (22-15), who led for the first 44-plus minutes, were paced by Rudy Gobert‘s 15 points and 16 rebounds. Shelvin Mack added 17 points and four rebounds.

It was the second straight loss for Utah, which committed 19 turnovers that led to 27 Toronto points.

DeRozan’s 18-foot jumper with 3:44 left gave the Raptors their first lead, 89-88. It was an advantage they never relinquished.

DeRozan took Lowry’s feed down the lane for a dunk to extend the lead to three. After a Jazz turnover, Lowry drilled a 3-pointer to put the Raptors ahead by six with 2:43 to go.

Gordon Hayward‘s 3 and a pair of foul shots by Gobert cut the lead to one before Lowry’s driving layup widened the margin back to three points.

Lowry hit a 3 with five minutes remaining to cut Utah’s lead to 85-84. But on the next trip up the court, Rodney Hood answered with a 3 as the shot clock expired.

Utah led 73-71 going into the fourth quarter as defenses tightened at both ends in the third.

Each team barely cracked 30 percent from the field in the third quarter. Utah was 7 for 19, the Raptors 6 for 17 as Toronto tied the game for the first time since the opening period. But on several trips down court, the Raptors couldn’t get the basket to take their first lead of the night.

The Jazz took a 52-48 lead into halftime as Mack set the pace with 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Gobert added eight points and 10 rebounds in the half.

Utah led by as many as 11 early in the second quarter but the Raptors took advantage of some sloppy Jazz play to score 13 points off seven turnovers in the period to cut the margin to 47-46. DeRozan scored Toronto’s final six points of the half.

Utah led 27-18 after the first quarter on the strength of 63 percent shooting from the field, including 3 for 5 from 3-point range. Mack led the way by hitting all four attempts, one a 3.

Toronto shot just 35 percent from the field in the opening quarter, including DeRozan’s 2 for 9.

TIP-INS

Jazz: G George Hill missed his third straight game due to a lip laceration and concussion-like symptoms. . Mack scored 10-plus points for the seventh time in his past 12 games. . Gobert extended his franchise-record streak of games with at least 10 rebounds to 22.

Raptors: F Lucas Nogueira had four points, six rebounds and three assists in 26 minutes. He made his second career start in place of rookie Pascal Siakam, who had started all 34 games this season. . F Patrick Patterson missed his third straight game with a strained left knee. . Valanciunas had his team-leading 13th double-double of the season and the 90th of his career.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Utah continues a five-game road trip Saturday night by visiting Minnesota. The Jazz beat the Timberwolves 112-103 in November during their only meeting so far this season.

Raptors: Toronto travels to Chicago for a Saturday night game against the Bulls, who have defeated the Raptors nine straight times dating to Dec. 31, 2013.

LeBron James drives through Wizards defense, dunks on

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Even when they are getting beat — and the Cavaliers have some issues to shake out before the playoffs start — there are a couple times a game that LeBron James makes a play that is stunning.

For example, splitting defenders out high with his dribble then going in and dunking on Ian Mahinmi. LeBron did that Saturday night.

The Wizards beat the Cavaliers and Cleveland has issues that are bigger than LeBron’s goggles (Boston can tie Cleveland for the top spot in the East with a win Sunday), but never doubt LeBron’s explosiveness.

Raptors’ Patrick Patterson taunts Mavericks’ bench after three, Rick Carlisle talks back (VIDEO)

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Toronto handed Dallas its 41st loss of the season Saturday night, which means with the Mavericks’ next loss their streak of winning seasons will come to an end at 16.

Toronto was talking a lot of smack while getting that win. At least Patrick Patterson was when he was draining corner threes in front of the Mavericks’ bench. On the one above, Patterson chirps and coach Rick Carlisle goes back at him verbally. They both pick up technical fouls for their trouble.

I’m surprised this doesn’t happen a little more during games, there’s a lot of talking down there

Serge Ibaka, DeMar DeRozan lead Raptors past Mavericks, 94-86

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DALLAS (AP) — DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka scored 18 points apiece, and the Toronto Raptors clinched a playoff berth after their fifth straight victory, 94-86 over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

The Raptors, who came back from 15-point deficits to win each of their last two games, made it a little easier on themselves Saturday. Toronto scored the game’s first seven points and never trailed in dealing the Mavericks’ playoff hopes a damaging blow.

Harrison Barnes scored 23 points for Dallas, which missed 18 of its first 22 3-pointers and finished just 7 of 28 from behind the arc.

Patrick Patterson added 14 points for Toronto, including a perfect 4 for 4 on 3-pointers.

The Mavericks fell four games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the West.

Toronto led by as many as 16 points in the first half and by 15 early in the fourth quarter before a 10-0 Dallas run made things more interesting.

Dorian Finney-Smith‘s free throws with 7:57 to go brought the Mavs within 79-74, the closest they had been since 7-2 early in the game. But Ibaka made consecutive jumpers to restore a nine-point lead, and Dallas got no closer than six after that.

The Raptors had their biggest lead at 42-26 in the first half. Barnes scored Dallas’ last 11 points of the half to help cut into the lead, but Toronto led 54-44 at the break.

J.J. Barea‘s long 3 at the third-quarter buzzer again brought Dallas within 10 at 74-64.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Coach Dwane Casey said he was hopeful that guard Kyle Lowry would return from wrist surgery before the end of the regular season. “I know he’s doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of work to keep his body in shape,” Casey said. “Just let him rehab, let him do his thing and trust our medical people.” Lowry has missed the last 16 games. . Toronto was also without starting forward DeMarre Carroll due to a sore lower back. P.J. Tucker started in his place.

Mavericks: Seth Curry with 11 points and Yogi Ferrell with 10 were the only other Mavs in double figures. . Nerlens Noel started his second game in a row at center for the Mavericks, who have gone to a big lineup. They’ve moved Dirk Nowitzki to power forward, Barnes to small forward and Curry to point guard.

STREAK IN JEOPARDY

The Mavericks took their 41st loss of the season. Their next loss will end the NBA’s second-longest streak of .500 or better seasons – currently at 16 seasons. Their last sub-.500 season was 1999-00, when they finished 40-42 and Mark Cuban became owner of the team in January 2000.

San Antonio has the longest streak of .500 or better seasons with 20, including this season.

ABOUT THURSDAY NIGHT

Cuban couldn’t resist giving his opinion on Barea’s ejection from the Mavericks’ victory over the Clippers on Thursday night. Barea was called for a flagrant 2 foul for pushing Blake Griffin, a player with a 10-inch height advantage over Barea.

“I just feel bad for Blake,” Cuban said. “It’s hard to come back from a knockout like that. We sent flowers to his family, condolences. I can only guess that he’s going to be drinking through a straw for a long, long time.”

 

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.