DeMar DeRozan does it all for Toronto Raptors in win over Miami Heat

By Dhiren Mahiban, The Sports Xchange  |  March 13, 2016 at 1:01 AM
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TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan had plenty of practice going head-to-head with Joe Johnson during the Raptors seven-game series against the Brooklyn Nets two seasons ago.

On Saturday, DeRozan was tasked with shutting down the seven-time all-star, and produced what coach Dwane Casey called one of the most solid performances he's seen from the 26-year-old guard.

"It's tough," DeRozan said. "I experienced it for seven games two years ago going against him. He's a hell of a matchup. When you take on challenges like that, it's definitely fun."

DeRozan matched a season-high 38 points adding 10 rebounds and seven assists leading the Raptors to a 112-104 overtime victory over the Miami Heat.

It was the 14th time this season DeRozan has scored 30 or more and the fourth time in the last six games. Saturday marked his 10th career double-double.

"He played well, did fantastic, did what he's supposed to do tonight and that's what an all-star does," said Kyle Lowry. "He's been playing like that the whole season. Last couple weeks, he's played unbelievable. I'm hoping he gets player of the week."

Johnson held to 28 points on 11 of 21 shooting and added five assists and four rebounds in the loss.

"(DeRozan) did a solid job. That was one of the best defensive performances we've had. Even though Joe scored 28, I thought he worked for every bit of it," Casey said.

"DeMar carried us on the other end, handled the ball, scoring (and) working on those free throws, but he had one of his most solid performances since I've been here."

Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Lowry chipped in with 16 points for the Raptors.

Miami (38-28) picked up just one win on its three-game road trip and dropped three of four meetings with Toronto this season.

"(DeRozan) puts a tremendous amount of pressure on you every single possession to keep him out of the paint and to do it without fouling," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "He is crafty, he is clever, he is aggressive, he's all of it and then when he gets those buckets near the basket, then he starts knocking down the pull-up and it becomes very tough. It was a great performance on his part."

Luol Deng added 20 points and five rebounds and Goran Dragic had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat.

Deng tied it 97-97 by hitting a 23-foot 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to force overtime. However, the Raptors outscored the Heat 15-7 in overtime.

"Hats off to him, that team is a formidable team," Casey said. "They've got championship pedigree like I said. Anytime you play Miami, you know you're in for a dog fight."

Miami outscored Toronto 25-17 in the third quarter to take a 71-70 lead into the fourth quarter. The Heat's defense held the Raptors to seven of 21 shooting from the field in the third quarter.

DeRozan hit a 19-foot pull-up jumper with less than a second remaining in the first half to put the Raptors up 53-46 at the break. He led the way with 17 first-half points.

"It's tough because (DeRozan) just kept running the pick-and-rolls and he was making tough shots, you've got to give him credit," Johnson said. "The whistle went his way tonight."

With Lowry struggling on 2-of-7 shooting from the field and scoring six points through two quarters, Valanciunas picked up the slack, adding 10 points and seven rebounds.

Despite shooting 39.6 percent from the field, Miami was able to keep pace with Toronto midway through the second quarter by outrebounding the Raptors, 17-9.

The Heat were led by 13 points from Dragic and 12 from Johnson.

Paced by eight points from Valanciunas, the Raptors led 28-24 after one quarter.

NOTES: After sitting out two consecutive games, Raptors F James Johnson returned to the starting lineup in place of G Norman Powell. ... Toronto recalled C Lucas Nogueira and G Delon Wright from the D-League's Raptors 905. ... Heat SG Dwyane Wade sat out with a bruised right thigh. The 34-year-old Chicago native had just nine points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field in Friday's 118-96 win over the Bulls. F Justice Winslow started in place of Wade. ... Toronto concludes its seven-game homestand on Monday against the Bulls. ... Miami returns home to host the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

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