DeMar DeRozan is quick to point out that his stunning scoring spree to start the season is no one-man show.
DeRozan had 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 — most of any player in the league.
“I’ve had a lot of help,” DeRozan said. “People have looked for me within the offence. Tonight it was JV (centre Jonas Valanciunas) setting screens for me. When the defence packed it in on him, he got me the ball for shots.”
DeRozan, Lowry and Ross come up big in Denver
Sam Mitchell and Leo Rautins credit DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry for stepping up when the Raptors needed them the most in their overtime win over the Nuggets, and praise Terrence Ross for knocking down some clutch shots down the stretch.
DeRozan also gave credit to Terrence Ross, who hit a 3-pointer with 37.6 seconds left in the extra period to put Toronto up by two.
“Terrence has heart and he is more than capable of making a big shot,” DeRozan said. “You know when you have another threat like that out there who is going to play extremely hard on both ends, it’s great.”
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 the Raptors, who swept the two-game season series.
Mudiay and Wilson Chandler each scored 25 points to lead the Nuggets, who have lost five of six. Denver also was plagued by turnovers, including two in overtime.
Ross on his big three in OT to help Raptors seal the deal
After finishing with 16 points off the bench, including a big three-pointer in overtime, Terrence Ross discusses his performance and the team’s hard fought win over the Nuggets.
“It’s the story of the game and the story of our short season,” coach Michael Malone said. “Emmanuel throws it out of bounds and Jameer (Nelson) steps out of bounds. Unfortunate timing for those turnovers.”
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 Valanciunas added one of two free throws moments later. 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 12.
Chandler fueled the outburst, scoring 12 points in the quarter.
“We fought to get to overtime but we had too many turnovers. As a team, we didn’t make the screens, we didn’t make the good passes. I think that’s the reason we lost the game.” — Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic.
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.