Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Raptors forward Terrence Ross shoots over L.A. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford during the first half of the game at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

The Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers have been locked in similar flight patterns as they stumble toward the break surrounding the NBA all-star game.

Both teams are posting decent overall records but both have struggled of late as injuries during a hectic portion of the schedule have conspired to weigh them down.

Chris Paul, L.A.'s dynamic point guard, has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to his left thumb on Jan. 18.

Story continues below advertisement

For the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan, their leading scorer, has been fighting a sore right ankle that had caused him to miss seven of Toronto's last eight games.

The all-star weekend, Feb. 17-19 in New Orleans, can't come soon enough for these two outfits.

While Paul is not expected back until some time next month, the Raptors at least received some good news heading into Monday night's game against L.A. at Air Canada Centre. DeRozan took part in a light pregame workout and pronounced himself ready to start. His presence on the court was a welcome sight to his Toronto teammates.

Paired once again with Kyle Lowry, his primary running mate, DeRozan was in fine form despite his inactivity, exploding for 31 points as Toronto (32-21) crushed the Clippers (31-21) 118-109.

For the Raptors, it was the first time since Jan. 17, when they were riding the crest of a four-game winning streak, that they have put together back-to-back victories.

Lowry was also lethal for the Raptors, chipping in with 24 points to go along with eight assists, while Jonas Valanciunas was strong up the middle, finishing with 21 points to go with 12 rebounds.

"It felt great to be back out there, just competing with my guys, putting up a victory, especially at home," said DeRozan, whose only complaint on the night was that he felt a bit winded by the end.

Story continues below advertisement

"It felt good," he said. "I had no problems, no pain, no nothing."

The Raptors were in full control by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, with the home side enjoying a 97-82 lead against a disinterested L.A. outfit that lost for its third straight outing.

While Toronto celebrated DeRozan's return, the team was still without forward Patrick Patterson, who sat out for the second straight game with a bothersome knee.

The Raptors were coming off a big, ego-boosting, 103-96 win in New York on Sunday over the Brooklyn Nets. It was only their third win in their last 11 outings – a precarious slide that has seen them fall from second to fourth in the Eastern Conference.

The Clippers have also struggled of late. They dropped their second in a row, and fourth in their last five, on Sunday when the Celtics prevailed for a 107-102 triumph in Boston.

Most of the attention in that game focused on Paul Pierce, who is winding down his great NBA career with the Clippers, primarily as a bench player. The 39-year-old, a 10-time all-star with more than 26,000 points during a 19-year career, has announced that this season will be his final hurrah.

Story continues below advertisement

Sunday in Boston represented his last regular-season game in the city where he played the first 15 years of his career and he was feted accordingly. And Clippers coach Doc Rivers did his part, subbing Pierce into the game late in the fourth quarter. The forward drilled the game's final shot – a three-pointer – that brought the fans to their feet in a final, fitting salute.

"I have to say, if you were a Boston fan [on Sunday] you had one hell of a day," Rivers said before Monday's game. "The Celtics won, Paul Pierce made the last shot, and then New England wins."

The opening half of Monday's game was an offensive feast, wtih the Raptors opening a 70-60 lead.

The Clippers broke fast from the gate in the opening quarter and would lead 17-6 after J.J. Redick drained a 22-foot jumper.

But Toronto's offence started to purr after that, aided by a couple of three-pointers off the fingertips of Lowry that helped Toronto secure a 35-31 lead heading into the second quarter.

At the six-minute, 33-second mark of the second quarter, Lowry drained his third three of the game, bringing the score to 54-47 for Toronto.

Story continues below advertisement

For Lowry, the three was the 802nd of his career with the Raptors, a franchise record, having surpassed the old mark of 801 held by Morris Peterson.

DeRozan would count 20 of his total in the opening half to go with Lowry's 18.

Nothing was going right for L.A. in the third quarter, with Lowry hitting on another three – he connected on four of his first six – to extend Toronto's lead to 88-73.

On an ensuring L.A. possession, Blake Griffin tried a showy behind-the-back pass that only wound up in the mitts of Toronto's Lucas Nogueira for the turnover.

Jakob Poeltl worked hard to secure an offensive rebound beneath the basket for Toronto and then got the shooter's bounce on the ensuring layup while being fouled with 5.6 seconds left.

He sank the free throw to complete the three-point play and lift Toronto into a 97-82 lead for the fourth quarter.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies