---- DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points and 6 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors won their third-straight game with a 112-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.
The Trail Blazers hoped to carry some of that momentum from Thursday night's win over the Magic into Sunday's game against the Raptors, but they came up short as DeMar DeRozan and Serg Ibaka led the way for Toronto.
DeRozan finished with 33 points and 6 rebounds and Serg Ibaka scored 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Blazers got 28 points from Damian Lillard, 18 from Maurice Harkless, and 13 from Al-Farouq Aminu, who returned to the lineup Sunday after missing two games with a sore knee. Portland had a double-digit lead in the first half, but the Raptors closed the half on a 15-2 run taking a one-point lead into the break and then scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a seven-point lead. The Blazers went 6:46 of game time between field goals.
Jusuf Nurkic made his second-straight start for the Blazers, but failed to make a big impact due to early foul trouble. Nurkic finished with just 8 points on 3-for-9 shooting. With 6:12 remaining in the game, Nurkic had a couple of teeth knocked out after getting hit in the face with an elbow by PJ Tucker. Nurkic was called for a foul on the play, but Tucker was given a technical for the shot to the face. Nurkic handed his teeth to team trainer Geoff Clark and remained in the game.
The Raptors did most of their damage at the foul line making 21 of their 27 free throws. DeRozan lived at the line scoring 15 of his game-high 33 points at the charity stripe.
With the loss, Portland falls to 10-21 on the season.
Next up- The Trail Blazers will finish up their three-game road trip Tuesday in Detroit with a date against the Pistons.
Chad's Take- It's nice to see Damian Lillard back to form after getting some much needed rest during the All Star break. The ankle injury he suffered before Christmas really impacted his game with a drop points per game and shooting percentage, but he has looked fresh in the last two games off the break with his explosion in Orlando on Thursday with 33 points and 28 points today on 10-for-20 shooting.
At this point, I am convinced losses are a good thing for the Blazers. Without salary cap space, Neil Olshey needs as many assets as he can possibly get his hands on. Within the next month, I think the Blazers need to seriously consider resting Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season. This would allow Lillard to rest his ankle and make sure he gets back to 100% before next season. And two, give the Blazers a chance to evaluate their young players and improve their draft position for the coming Summer.
Blazers at Raptors Highlights: