Lowry’s 19 points, 12 assists boost Toronto
TORONTO — Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 12 assists, Patrick Patterson scored a season-high 22 and the Toronto Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-101 on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
DeMar DeRozan also had 22 points, Terrence Ross added 14 and Tyler Hansbrough scored 12 for Toronto, which has won five consecutive meetings and seven of eight against New Orleans. The first-place Raptors moved three games ahead of Brooklyn in the Atlantic Division by winning for the ninth time in 11 home games.
Tyreke Evans had 23 points and 10 assists, and Anthony Davis scored 19 for the Pelicans, who lost their second straight and have dropped four consecutive games in Toronto. Brian Roberts had 18 points for New Orleans, and Eric Gordon scored 10.
Toronto’s 27 wins before the All-Star break are its most since the 2009-10 season, when it had 29. The Raptors host Atlanta on Wednesday in their final game before All-Star weekend.
Evans returned after sitting out Sunday night’s loss at Brooklyn. Pelicans coach Monty Williams said Sunday that Evans, the 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year, did not play against the Nets because of an “internal” issue.
Toronto called a timeout after a 6-0 Pelicans run cut it to 85-78 with 9:25 left. Luke Babbitt blocked DeRozan’s shot after the stoppage, and Anthony Morrow’s jump shot brought New Orleans to 85-80.
DeRozan stopped the run with a jumper, but Lowry fouled Davis on a dunk and the Pelicans’ All-Star converted his free throw. One possession later, Babbitt hit a 3-pointer, shaving the deficit to 87-86.
Lowry and Hansbrough each made a pair of free throws to give the Raptors breathing room before Lowry made a jump hook, assisted on a layup by Hansbrough and fed Ross for a 3 to make it 98-89 with 4:20 remaining.
DeRozan, Lowry and Patterson each scored seven points in the first quarter as the Raptors jumped to a 31-20 lead.
Patterson made his first start for Toronto in place of Amir Johnson (right ankle).
Toronto pushed its advantage to 38-23 on a 3-pointer by Steve Novak at 9:33 of the second, but the Pelicans answered with a 24-5 run, tying it at 43 on a 3 by Roberts with 4:13 to go. New Orleans took the lead on two free throws from Davis.
Davis scored eight points in the second, but a jumper by Patterson with 2 seconds left in the half tied the score at 49.
DeRozan scored five points and assisted on two other baskets as Toronto regained the lead with a 13-3 run early in the third. Patterson scored 10 points in the period, and DeRozan had nine as Toronto took an 82-70 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Toronto began a stretch with eight of 10 games at home. ... The Pelicans fell to 13-7 against Eastern Conference opponents. ... The Raptors have 20 assists or more in a season-best 11 straight games.