DeMar DeRozan detonated for a career-high 45 points Thursday night in Philadelphia, leading the Toronto Raptors past the Sixers 114-109.
DeRozan poured in six three-pointers, and Toronto overcame a 22-point deficit to earn their fifth win in a row.
Philly fell to 1-7 this season without Joel Embiid, who has missed the last two games with back tightness after logging a career-high 49 minutes in a triple-overtime loss to Oklahoma City last Friday.
Per the AP:
“I thought he was a young Ray Allen,” [Raptors head coach Dwane] Casey said about DeRozan’s 4-of-4 first-quarter shooting from 3, reminiscing of his days as an assistant coach with the Seattle SuperSonics in the early 2000s. “That’s what we need from him. It opens up the floor, especially on nights when we just didn’t have it. We were playing in mud in the first half.”
DeRozan finished 13 of 15 from the line to best the 43 points he scored against Boston last season. The Sixers only took 14 free throws as a team.
“That’s been my career the past few years, getting to the free throw line,” DeRozan said. “Being able to close out the game and me understanding to slow the game down. Get the momentum going our way and try to kill them at the free-throw line.”