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Raptors 107, Pelicans 100

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NEW ORLEANS — Former New Orleans point guard Greivis Vasquez scored five points in 37 seconds and guard DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 31 points to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 107-100 victory over the Pelicans on Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Vasquez, traded in the offseason, broke a 94-94 tie with a patented floater on the right side of the lane with 1:58 left. Then, after guard Brian Roberts missed a 15-footer on the other end, Vasquez missed a 3-pointer from the right baseline, got his own rebound and hit a reverse layup and was fouled. When Vasquez made the free throw, Toronto led 99-94 with 1:21 left.

Forward Al-Farouq Aminu hit a 3-pointer to move New Orleans within 102-98 with 40.4 seconds left, but that was as close as the Pelicans got.

Toronto, which snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 38-29, got 23 points from guard Kyle Lowry, and center Tyler Hansbrough, starting for Jonas Valanciunas, grabbed 13 rebounds, including five in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans, playing without forward Anthony Davis, who was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection, placed six players in double figures, led by Aminu with 19, guard Tyreke Evans with 18 and guard Eric Gordon with 15.

The Pelicans led 94-90 with 4:26 left, but forward Amir Johnson grabbed a DeRozan miss and dunked it home to cut the deficit to 94-92.

Then after guard Eric Gordon lost the ball in the left corner, Johnson hit a layup with 3:33 left to tie the game at 94.

Roberts scored six consecutive points to give New Orleans a 67-61 lead, but Toronto responded with a 7-0 run — including an alley-oop layup and a 3-pointer by DeRozan, to tie the game at 70 with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

The Pelicans continued to work the ball inside, and Evans gave them an 81-75 lead by splitting a double team for a layup late in the third quarter.

New Orleans led 50-36 with 5:15 left in the half, but Toronto closed the half on a 20-7 run to move within 57-56 at halftime. The Raptors did that despite allowing the Pelicans to shoot 66 percent from the field (21 of 32), with 14 shots in the lane.

Gordon scored 15 first-half points for the Pelicans, and forward Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 and guard Tyreke Evans added 10.

Toronto’s backcourt kept the Raptors within striking distance. Lowry had 16 points and DeRozan had 15 on combined 10 of 17 shooting. Lowry made three 3-pointers in the half, and DeRozan had nine points in the 20-7 spurt at the end of the first half.

NOTES: Pelicans F Anthony Davis, who posted career highs (36 and then 40 points) in each of the previous two games, missed Wednesday’s game with an upper-respiratory infection. … New Orleans coach Monty Williams said he was happy his team, despite season-ending injuries to PG Jrue Holiday, F Ryan Anderson and C Jason Smith, matched last year’s win total (27) with 16 games to go. “I still feel like we left a few games on the floor,” he said. … Williams said rookie C Jeff Withey, who is playing better in the second half of the season, may see more action. … Toronto played without C Jonas Valanciunas, who has a sprained lower back. Coach Dwane Casey said C Tyler Hansbrough and F Chuck Hayes would have to pick up the slack. “We’ve been very fortunate not to have that many injuries up to this part of the season,” Casey said.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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