TORONTO (REUTERS/AFP) – DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points – 22 in the second half – and the visiting San Antonio Spurs overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 105-104 in the National Basketball Association on Sunday night (Jan 12).
DeRozan, who has scored 20 points in 11 straight games, sank two free throws with nine seconds remaining for what proved to be the game-winning points after Marco Belinelli’s three-pointer had given the Spurs the lead.
Kyle Lowry sank a three-pointer with five seconds left to pull Toronto within a point.
After San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge missed two free throws with four seconds showing, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Rudy Gay added 15 points, Derrick White had 13, Aldridge 11 and Dejounte Murray had 10 for the Spurs. Jakob Poeltl had four points and 10 rebounds.
Serge Ibaka had his eighth straight double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds for Toronto. Norman Powell had 20 points, Lowry had 16 and Siakam 15.
Siakam (groin) and Powell (shoulder) returned to the Raptors’ line-up after each had missed 11 games. Toronto were 6-5 without them.
The Raptors led by as many as 18 points during the third quarter and took a 13-point lead into the fourth.
The Spurs went on a 17-0 run to lead by three points with 5min 31sec to play. A lay-up by Patty Mills and White’s jumper increased the lead to nine points.
The Raptors responded with 10-0 run completed by Ibaka’s three-pointer. Toronto took a one-point lead on Siakam’s free throw but Belinelli hit a three-pointer with 28.8 seconds to play for the Spurs.
Siakam, showing no effects of the layoff, scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first seven minutes and the Raptors led 28-21 after the first quarter.
The Raptors led 51-43 at half-time.
The lead reached 18 on a lay-up by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 4:16 left in the third quarter. DeRozan’s dunk brought the Spurs back to within 11 points in the final minute of the third.
Hollis-Jefferson’s tip shot with 1.7 seconds left in the third quarter gave Toronto an 82-69 lead.
In Washington, Croatia’s Bojan Bogdanovic scored 31 points as the Utah Jazz won their ninth straight game with a 127-116 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Frenchman Rudy Gobert finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, one of a half-dozen players who finished in double figures for Utah, who improved to 27-12 on the season.
The Jazz tightened up their defence in the second half to knock the Wizards off their game, then pulled it out in the final quarter.
Jordan Clarkson added 23 points off the bench and Joe Ingles chipped in 20 for the Jazz, who are now 14-1 in their last 15 games.
Gobert made three dunks over a two-minute stretch after Washington cut the deficit to 111-108 on a driving lay-up from American Bradley Beal with 3:32 left.
Beal scored 25 points to lead the Wizards. Davis Bertans scored 18 points, Jordan McRae added 16 and Ian Mahinmi chipped in 15 for the Wizards, who lost for the second time in five games.
Beal was back in the line-up after missing several games with injuries. Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz missed his first game of the season while recovering from an illness.
In New York, Taj Gibson made a clutch free throw with 98 seconds left to give the hosts the lead for good as the Knicks stormed back from a 14-point deficit in the second half to beat the Miami Heat 124-121.
Julius Randle score a game-high 26 points to lead seven players in double figures for the Knicks, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
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