PHILADELPHIA (AP) Kyle Lowry slept in his own bed, left about 50 tickets for family and friends, then gave his hometown crowd a reason to cheer.
Lowry had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his fourth career triple-double, and DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95 on Friday night.
”As long as it’s with a win, I’m happy to have it,” Lowry said. ”I’ll take the thanks from the team and congratulations from all my teammates. But as long as it came with a win, that’s all that really matters.”
Lowry grabbed his 10th rebound late in the fourth quarter, continuing a string of strong games he’s had for the Atlantic Division leaders. He’s a Philadelphia native and played two seasons at Villanova. He didn’t get a chance to stop by his old school – though current and former Wildcats had to be watching.
Lowry was nearly flawless in his latest homecoming, and didn’t commit his first turnover until there were about 2 minutes left in the game. He shot 7 of 11 and hit a trio of 3-pointers in 35 minutes to help keep the Raptors in control of the worst division in the NBA.
”It’s always special to play here,” Lowry said.
He had help putting the game away.
DeRozan scored 16 points in the fourth, including seven straight early in the period as the Raptors opened a double-digit lead.
In a game in which neither team could build much of a lead, DeRozan finally helped the Raptors take control in the final quarter. He had a dunk, hit a 3-pointer and nailed a mid-range jumper to give Toronto some breathing room. Patrick Patterson’s jumper made it 96-83.
The Sixers made a short run to close to 98-91 but didn’t have enough left for one more rally.
”When we got a chance to put a stronghold on it, we closed it out,” Lowry said.
The Raptors snapped a four-game losing streak on the road.
DeRozan scored a career-high 40 points in Toronto’s 93-85 win over Dallas on Wednesday night. He connected on 15 of 22 field goal attempts and went 9 for 14 at the free throw line, becoming the seventh player in Raptors history to score 40 points or more.
Against the Sixers, DeRozan made 10 of 22 shots and 13 of 16 free throws.
The Raptors moved to .500 on the road (11-11) and are 22-20 overall. But the other four teams in the division all have losing records, including Philadelphia, so they’ve been good enough to sit atop the standings.
The Raptors are 16-8 since they traded Rudy Gay.
”They make the trade, and it ends up a little bit addition by subtraction in many ways,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. ”They get a little bit more of an identity and a defensive purpose. And I thought they were really good. I always felt like they were a pretty good defensive team.”
Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers. Michael Carter-Williams scored 20.
The Raptors opened the game on a 15-2 run, the Sixers countered with a 20-5 spurt, and from there it was pretty much even.
”I liked the start. We had an excellent focus and sustained it as long as we could,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
The Sixers could never get their perimeter game going, scoring 50 of their 78 points through three quarters in the paint. Philadelphia missed 14 of 20 3s overall. Thaddeus Young scored 16 points.
”We got good shots, but just went cold,” Young said. ”They’re just a good team. In the past, it was a point where, the Toronto Raptors walk in and it’s going to be an easy win. But they have a lot of key guys on that team that can do a lot of different things.”
NOTES: Sixers G Tony Wroten (right ankle) sat out. … The Sixers signed C Dewayne Dedmon to a second 10-day contract. … There were 12 lead changes and 15 ties. … The Sixers have scored fewer than 100 points in eight of the last 10 games after scoring 100-plus in seven straight. … The Sixers committed a season-low 10 turnovers.