TORONTO, Canada: Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 28 points and the Raptors held off a late rally to beat visiting Dallas, 103-99, on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) in an NBA thriller.
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry added 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while center Bismack Biyombo scored nine points and grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds and Luis Scola added 15 points and nine rebounds for Toronto.
“They all came up big,” DeRozan said. “We needed everybody tonight.”
The Raptors never trailed, up by as many as 18 points in the first quarter and well ahead when the Mavericks brought in a reserve unit with barely five minutes remaining.
The Mavericks battled back and trailed by only two points with 11.6 seconds to play on a Jeremy Evans layup, but Evans missed a free throw and Toronto’s Terrence Ross made two free throws, the last of his 16 points, to finish the scoring.
“It was a big win,” DeRozan said. “We finished ugly but we got a big win. We knew they were going to make a run but we were able to withstand it.”
German star forward Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks (15-13) with 20 points and seven rebounds. He stands 10 points shy of passing Shaquille O’Neal for sixth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
At Miami, Detroit sank 15 three-pointers and erased an early 18-point deficit to edge the Heat 93-92.
Reggie Jackson scored 18 points to lead the Pistons while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson each added 14 points and Steve Blake had 12, while Andre Drummond scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Chris Bosh scored 20 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Heat, who fell to 16-11.
Wade and Bosh each missed jumpers in the closing seconds as Detroit hung on for the victory, the Pistons’ fifth in six games.
76ers lose again
At Denver, retiring Kobe Bryant matched his season high with 31 points to power the Los Angeles Lakers over the host Nuggets 111-107.
Bryant hit two free throws and a jumper in the final minute to secure the victory, with Denver fans chanting his name in the closing seconds.
The Lakers improved the worst record in the Western Conference to 5-23 and rose to 3-16 on the road this season.