(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors lead the Atlantic Division with a
5-7 mark and look to stay on top in the standings when they open a four-game
homestand Friday versus the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors ended a two-game slide with Wednesday's 108-98 victory at
Philadelphia, as they sank 14-of-29 3-pointers and scored 19 points off 20
Sixers turnovers. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 33 points and Rudy Gay
finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Kyle Lowry contributed 13 points and 10 assists, while Terrence Ross netted 17
points off the bench. Ross, DeRozan and Lowry all made a trio of 3-pointers.
"It was a very efficient game, 10-for-19, 3-for-5 from three, but it was all
started by Rudy's penetrating and kicking, Kyle's penetrating and kicking,"
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of DeRozan's night.
Gay and DeRozan have combined to average 52.0 points in the last four games
for the Raptors, who are also averaging 18.5 assists in the past four
contests. DeRozan is averaging 27.8 ppg in his last five games.
Despite being outrebounded 50-41 by the Sixers, Toronto ranks second in the
NBA in offensive rebounds (13.6) and first in second-chance points (19.1).
The Raptors are first in the Atlantic for the first time since 2007 and will
also host Brooklyn, Miami and Denver.
Washington will try to extend its winning streak to a season-high three games
when it visits Air Canada Centre.
The Wizards made it two wins in a row with Wednesday's 98-91 win over Kyrie
Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bradley Beal scored 26 points and Nene
added 24 in the win. John Wall and Martell Webster had 15 points apiece for
the Wizards, who fended off a furious Cleveland rally.
Beal also chipped in a career-high tying eight assists and seven rebounds. He
is averaging 22.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the last nine games.
Nene is averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his past three.
The Cavs had a 32-18 advantage in the fourth quarter after losing the previous
three periods and almost erased a 27-point deficit.
"The easiest thing to do is relax when you're up by 27 points. They made us
pay for that, but we nipped it in the bud and took care of business. This is
another step for us in the maturation process," Webster said.
Webster is averaging 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last four games.
Washington and Toronto split four meetings a season ago and have split their
series in each of the past three seasons. The Wizards have lost six of seven
contests north of the border.
The Sports Network