Valanciunas scores 26, Raptors top Nets for 9th straight win

Valanciunas scores 26, Raptors top Nets for 9th straight win
Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell, right, grabs the jersey of Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17), for which he drew a foul call, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in New York. The Raptors defeated the Nets 116-102. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

By Adry Torres, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors won their ninth straight and 16th of 17, 116-102 over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).

DeMar DeRozan and reserve Fred VanVleet scored 15 points apiece, and Kyle Lowry added 11 points and 11 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors, who held Brooklyn to 35 points after halftime and won a franchise record-tying seventh straight road game.

D'Angelo Russell hit his first seven shots — all three-pointers — and scored 24 points in the first quarter for the Nets, who have lost 11 straight to the Raptors. Russell finished with 32 points, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 19.

Toronto trailed 74-59 after Dante Cunningham's tip-in layup in the opening minutes of the second half.

But the Raptors, who own the NBA's fourth-best road record, went on a 15-0 run, capped by VanVleet's 3-pointer that made it 74-all with 6:04 left in the third quarter.

Both teams traded baskets the rest of the period. In the fourth, CJ Miles got hot and led a 14-4 run with three three-pointers, his last one extending Toronto's lead 103-95 with 7:15 left in the game. Miles finished with 12 points.

Brooklyn got within 103-100 with 5:48 remaining. The Raptors' defense shut the Nets down the rest of the way, setting up DeRozan's streak of seven straight points that increased the lead to 110-100 with 2:27 left.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Also won seven consecutive games away from Air Canada Centre from Nov. 23 to Dec. 26, 2006. ... Have scored at least 100 points in 20 straight games. Toronto reached the century mark in 20 straight during the 2009-10 season. ... Delon Wright scored 10 points, one of six Raptors in double figures.

Nets: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Russell's 24 points in the first quarter were the most by a Net in the opening period since Vince Carter's 24 on Apr. 4, 2005 against Boston. ... Brooklyn tallied 40 points in the first quarter, tying a Barclays Center mark set on Nov. 18, 2013, against Portland.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Continue their trip at Indiana on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).

Nets: At Philadelphia on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).

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