NBA News: DeMar DeRozan’s 31-point second half sparks Raptors late game comeback to hold off Celtics
Jan 11, 2017 02:49 PM EST
The Toronto Raptors (25-13) were currently in a rut, winning only 2 of their last 7 games and were on a 2-game losing streak going into Tuesday night's match. The Boston Celtics (23-15), on the other hand, were red hot as they won 6 of their last 7 games and were riding a 4-game win streak. The Raptors' comfortable 2nd seed in the East was now in danger as a win by the Celtics would have allowed them to pull even.
The Raptors built an early lead 5 point lead, 23-18, at the end of the first quarter and looked poised to take control of the game. However, the Celtics exploded for 37 points in the second quarter to take a 55-46 lead into the half. They would add to that and eventually lead the Raptors by 16 points, 59-75, with 5:05 left in the third. DeRozan then took matters into his own hands, scoring 12 of Toronto's 21 points to end the third quarter on a 21-9 run and pull within just 4 points.
The fourth quarter saw much of the same from DeRozan as he scored 12 more points to help his team outscore the Celtics by 12 in the final period. DeRozan finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 2 steals while shooting an incredible 16-29 (55.2%) from the field with 8-12 coming from mid-range. (Complete stats on NBA.com)
DeRozan has mastered the mid-range jumper, sinking baskets even with a defender right up in his face. He takes only 1.5 3-point attempts per game and makes about 28% of them, an extremely low number considering his position at off-guard. However, he is still able to rack-up the points and is currently number 4 in scoring with 28.2 points per game. DeRozan scored 30 points or more in 10 of his first 12 games this season, including two 40-point outputs. He did this while only taking 24 shots from deep and making a mere 6. DeMar Derozan's career statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.
"You're going to lose games in this league, but you don't want to make it more than one." - DeMar DeRozan from USA Today. Trying to avoid a 3-game losing streak certainly fuelled DeRozan to lead his team to victory, and he did so in spectacular fashion.