TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan set an NBA record by making 24 straight free throws on his way to a season-high 38 points and the Toronto Raptors overcame a huge game from Damian Lillard to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 117-115 on Friday night for their franchise-record 12th straight home win.
Lillard scored 50 points, one shy of his career high set last month in a 137-105 win over Golden State.
Portland lost the season series to Toronto for the first time since 1996-97. C.J. McCollum added 24 for Portland, but he and Lillard were the only Blazers in double figures.
Despite carrying a 90-77 lead into the fourth quarter, the Raptors allowed Portland back into the game when they missed eight of their first 11 shots from the floor. Portland went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to just three points with 6:18 left.
The Trail Blazers cut the lead to two points on a couple of occasions, but the Raptors went shot for shot to stay in front. Gerald Henderson cut the lead to 108-105 with 2:08 to play, but Patrick Patterson responded with a 3-pointer 21 seconds later to push the lead out to six.
Lillard’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go brought the Trail Blazers to within three, but Lowry converted 1 of 2 free throws right after. Alan Crabbe made a finger roll with 8.3 seconds remaining, but Toronto responded with two free throws from DeRozan.
Another 3-pointer from Lillard, his sixth of the night, made the last 2.2 seconds uncomfortable for the Raptors, but DeRozan was sent to the free-throw line once again, registering his only miss of the night, to close out the game.
DeRozan started at small forward instead of shooting guard for the first time this season to accommodate Nick Powell, but he didn’t let it affect his rhythm, scoring 17 points in the first quarter. Lillard responded with 12 of his own, including a 40-foot basket at the buzzer to close Toronto’s lead to 31-30 after 12 minutes.
The Trail Blazers’ scoring touch deserted them somewhat in the second quarter. They missed 12 of their first 16 shots from the floor in the quarter, while 10 points from Lowry helped the Raptors establish a 58-52 lead at the half.
Trail Blazers: Lillard has now scored at least 30 points in nine of his last 11 games, and he averaged 29.8 points during the month of February. He wasn’t selected for the All-Star Game in Toronto. Raptors coach Dwane Casey put Lillard’s recent hot streak down to the All-Star snub. “He’s playing with a huge chip on his shoulder,” Casey said. “He won’t admit it, but he is.”
Raptors: Jason Thompson, who signed with Toronto on Tuesday, saw his first action as a Raptor on Friday night, playing 1:12 in the second quarter. … The Raptors are now just one win from tying the franchise record for victories against Western Conference teams (16), a mark achieved three times previously. … DeRozan became the third player in Raptors history to score 9,000 points, following Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
Trail Blazers: Visit Detroit on Sunday.
Raptors: Host Houston on Sunday.