The Toronto Raptors needed a huge performance from DeMar DeRozan to rescue them from a huge deficit in their last game.
DeRozan might be poised for another career night against the Philadelphia 76ers given what he’s done so far in the season series.
He’ll try to help Toronto win a third straight meeting with the 76ers on Friday night when the Raptors visit Philadelphia.
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The Raptors (21-20) were on the losing end of a big comeback Sunday at home to the Los Angeles Lakers, squandering a 17-point third-quarter lead. They nearly dug out of a 30-point hole in a 100-95 defeat at Charlotte on Monday.
Wednesday they avoided a three-game skid with a 93-85 home victory over Dallas, getting a career-high 40 points from DeRozan. It marked the fifth-largest comeback in team history after the Raptors trailed by 21 in the first quarter.
"This loss would have hurt," said DeRozan, who was 15 of 22 from the floor. He was just 6 of 18 with 15 points in a 109-108 overtime win at Dallas on Dec. 20, which saw the Raptors rally from 19 down.
"We didn’t want to lose three in a row," he said. "I was just telling myself just try and do as much as I can to win, try to pull this one off and keep my team in it."
Toronto was also two short of a season high by forcing 21 turnovers, including nine in the final period alone. The Raptors rank among the league’s leaders, forcing 15.9 per game, but had averaged just 11.0 in losing three of the previous four.
DeRozan, who is enjoying career highs in most major categories including points per game (21.8), averaged 30.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting in two victories over Philadelphia earlier this season. The 76ers had won seven of nine against Toronto before a 108-98 home loss on Nov. 20 and a 108-100 defeat in Toronto on Dec. 13.
Philadelphia (14-28) received a career-best performance from its top scorer in its last game with Evan Turner pouring in 34 in Wednesday’s 110-106 road win over the New York Knicks.
The 76ers, who had lost seven of eight, were 9 of 14 from 3-point range. They had averaged 92.8 points while hitting just 25.7 percent of their shots from beyond the arc during the 1-7 stretch.
Turner hit all three of his 3-point attempts on Wednesday in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds for his ninth double-double. Philadelphia’s plus-15 rebounding advantage was its third-largest of the season.
"Our team was good tonight. We played good team defense and we ended it with rebounds," coach Brett Brown said. "So I’m happy that we came in here and found a way to get a win and it was through our defense."
Rookie Michael Carter-Williams added 19 points but is shooting 34.8 percent (24 for 69) his last four games after going 5 for 18 on Wednesday.
Thaddeus Young is averaging 18.7 points while shooting 60.0 percent over his last six matchups with Toronto.