NEW YORK â€” DeMar DeRozan’s double-double and Cory Joseph’s career night propelled the Toronto Raptors past the free-falling Brooklyn Nets.
DeRozan had 36 points and 11 rebounds, and Joseph set a personal high by scoring 33 on Tuesday night in Toronto’s 119-109 victory over Brooklyn.
After shooting 3 for 14 in the first half, DeRozan found his stroke and finished 13 for 28.
“I just kept playing the same way,” he said. “You know, getting good looks and just going out there and I know it’s going to come, it’s just more so being patient, not really worrying about the misses.”
Toronto won its fourth straight game and extended Brooklyn’s losing streak to 11 in a row.
Joseph started in place of Kyle Lowry, given the night off to rest.
“Kyle provides a lot of scoring for us,” Joseph said. “I knew that slot would be missing today, so I took it upon myself to be more aggressive, try to be aggressive and take what the defence gives me. They were giving up a lot of layups and short floaters, so that’s what I was taking and so I happened to be making them.”
Terrence Ross added 15 points for the Raptors, who opened the game with an 11-0 run but fell behind after the first quarter.
Still, the Nets have not won since Dec. 26.
“You’ve got to keep going,” centre Brook Lopez said. “We have a young group and we’re learning a lot on the fly, so you’ve got to just stay positive. We’re doing a lot well, just has not translated in the win column. I think we’re definitely going to break through soon. We’ve just got to give ourselves a chance every night.”
Lopez had 28 points for the Nets. Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 apiece.
Toronto took a 92-85 lead into the fourth quarter and never looked back. DeRozan led the way with 10 points in the third period, equaling LeVert’s total in the quarter.
Lopez and Joseph each scored 14 in the second.
After the 11-0 spurt by the Raptors at the start, Brooklyn rallied to take a 29-26 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Raptors: Coach Dwane Casey was asked what his expectations are for this season after losing in the Eastern Conference finals last year. “We always want to advance. I’m not going to put a level on where we’ve got to get to or anything like that. Our thing is to continue to get better. We can’t just try to get as many wins as we can and hope it works in the playoffs,” he said. … Joseph started for the first time since April 8, 2016. … Lucas Nogueria experienced blurred vision and was checked for a concussion in the locker room after being hit in the head during the first quarter. He did not return. . Patrick Patterson (sore left knee), Jared Sullinger (left foot surgery) and Delon Wright (right shoulder surgery) were out.
Nets: Coach Kenny Atkinson discussed what he’s seen from veteran Quincy Acy, who is nearing the end of a 10-day contract. “Love his energy. Love his pop, his aggressiveness and how competitive he is. We’ll talk about it after the game with our group. I’ve been pleasantly surprised in his limited minutes,” Atkinson said. … Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) was out.
Raptors: Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
Nets: Visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
Michael Scotto, The Associated Press