Kyle Lowry scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 23 and the Toronto Raptors beat Houston, 108-105, on Friday night, snapping the Rockets’ 17-game winning streak. James Harden scored 40 points, but the Rockets lost for the first time since Jan. 27 at New Orleans. Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors won their seventh straight in a matchup between the respective conference leaders.
The Rockets shot 9 for 27 from 3-point range, matching their fewest made 3-pointers of the season. Clint Capela had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets. Chris Paul and Eric Gordon each scored 14 points, and Trevor Ariza had 13 as Houston’s road winning streak ended at 10.Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors won their seventh straight in a matchup between the respective conference leaders. Jamal Murray had 22 points and Nikola Jokic also scored 21 to help the Nuggets end a three-game home losing streak and stay in the thick of the playoff race.
Brook Lopez led Los Angeles with 29 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Lonzo Ball had 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The Lakers had their four-game road winning streak snapped. Houston tied the score at 102-102 on Harden’s 3-pointer with 2 minutes 10 seconds remaining, but DeRozan restored Toronto’s lead with a jump shot with 1:49 left. Paul missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds to play, then fouled Lowry in the scramble for the rebound. Lowry made both free throws, giving the Raptors a 106-102 lead with 10 seconds to go.
Gordon answered with a 3-pointer, making it a 1-point game. Houston fouled Valanciunas, who made a pair to put Toronto up by 3 with 5.4 seconds to go. Harden got the final shot, but his deep 3 from the edge of the center-court circle was short, giving the Raptors the win. Lowry connected on his first five shots and scored 13 points in the opening quarter as Toronto led by 32-16. The Rockets missed eight of their first 10 field-goal attempts and shot 6 for 21 in the first quarter, missing all five 3-point attempts. It was Houston’s lowest-scoring first quarter of the season and just the second time they’ve failed to score at least 20 points in the first.
Harden scored 9 points in the second quarter, but the Rockets continued to struggle from long range, making one of four 3-point shots. DeRozan had 7 points for the Raptors, who led by 58-43 at halftime. Houston’s only lower-scoring first half this season was a 39-point effort in a Feb. 26 win at Utah.
The Rockets were 1 for 12 from 3-point range before Harden drained back-to-back shots with 2:48 left in the third. Harden scored 14 in the third, overcoming 9 points from Lowry, as Houston cut the deficit to 83-75 entering the fourth quarter.