Kurt Helin

DeMar DeRozan scores 30 again, Raptors beat Nuggets 113-111 in OT


DENVER (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, including four in overtime, and the Toronto Raptors held off the Denver Nuggets for a 113-111 victory Friday night.

It was the 10th time in 12 games this season that DeRozan, the NBA’s leading scorer, has reached 30 points.

Terrence Ross hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 37.6 seconds left in the extra period, putting Toronto up by two. Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay was short with a desperation heave from halfcourt at the final buzzer.

Kyle Lowry added 18 points and 13 assists for Toronto, which swept the two-game season series.

Mudiay and Wilson Chandler each scored 25 points to lead the Nuggets, who have lost five of six.

After trailing by five going into the fourth quarter, Toronto took an 87-86 lead on a 3-pointer by Ross with 7:57 left.

No more than three points separated the teams during the remainder of regulation.

DeRozan hit a jumper to put Toronto up 99-98, and Jonas Valanciunas added one of two free throws moments later. Jameer Nelson answered with a 3 to put Denver back up by a point, but DeRozan hit a jumper with 15 seconds left as the Raptors regained the lead.

Chandler was fouled on a drive to the basket and made one of two free throws to tie it. DeRozan’s baseline jumper at the end of regulation went in and out, sending the game to overtime tied at 102.

Behind a 38-point second quarter, their second-highest output in any period this season, the Nuggets took a 57-52 lead at halftime after trailing by as many as a dozen points.

Chandler fueled the outburst, scoring 12 points in the quarter.


Raptors: C Lucas Nogueira did not travel with the team to Denver to remain at home with his wife, who gave birth to their baby girl on Thursday. Nogueira is expected to rejoin the team in Sacramento, where the Raptors play the Kings on Sunday. … F Jared Sullinger and G Delon Wright remain inactive while continuing to recover from left foot surgery and right shoulder surgery, respectively.

Nuggets: The highest-scoring quarter by Denver this season was 42 points in the first against Boston on Nov. 6. … F Mike Miller was excused from the team to tend to a personal matter. … G Gary Harris missed his third consecutive game with a right foot injury. … F Will Barton remains sidelined with a left ankle sprain. He has missed the last nine games.ess


Watch Russell Westbrook drop triple-double on Nets in Thunder win


Russell Westbrook has now four triple-doubles in 13 games, which puts him on pace for 25 this season.

Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds in the Thunder’s comfortable 124-101 win over the Nets Friday night. He did it attacking the rim — nine of his 21 shot attempts on the night were in the restricted area. Check out his shot chart, and marvel at what Angry Russ can do.



Zaza Pachulia hits midrange jumper, celebrates with pony dance


Nobody celebrates a wide-open midrange jumper in the middle of a blowout game like Zaza Pachulia.

It is the strangest and least expected celebration of the season. In the third quarter, Pachulia was left wide open at the elbow, took his time, and drained the jumper. Then he broke out the pony and danced like he was Stephen Curry hitting a game-winning three.

I still think Marc Gasol has the best big man celebration dance.

The Warriors went on to win 124-105 behind 28 from Klay Thompson.


Dwight Howard ejected in fourth quarter of Hawks loss to Hornets


It wasn’t intentional, but the referees try not to judge intent.

Dwight Howard was simply going for a rebound in the middle of the fourth quarter Friday night in Charlotte, doing so he put his arm out to box out Cody Zeller — and he elbowed Zeller in the face. Zeller hit the ground; Howard eventually fell over him.

After the play was reviewed by the officials, Howard was given a flagrant 2 ejected. By the letter of the law, it’s the right call (the NBA is very protective of blows to the head), but it’s a tough one to swallow. Howard isn’t going to get a fine for this one, nor should he.

The Hawks were outscored by seven points after Howard went out and eventually lost the game to Charlotte 100-96. However, that wasn’t really about Howard, it was more about Kemba Walker going off for seven straight points in one stretch to put the Hornets back in front. It also was about the Hawks shooting 3-of-17 in the fourth quarter. That’s a quality win for Charlotte.

Watch OKC’s Andre Roberson dunk over, around Brook Lopez

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Apparently some Russell Westbrook is rubbing off on Andre Roberson.

Roberson has struggled with his shot this season and he’s shooting just 22.2 percent this season from the left corner, but when Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic closed out a little too fast out there, Roberson put the ball on the floor, had an open lane to the rim, got up and dunked around — it’s a poster, but it’s more around than over — Brook Lopez.

That’s the kind of high-percentage shot Roberson could use to up his average.