TORONTO – DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as the Toronto Raptors used a rare offensive outburst to beat the Houston Rockets 116-98 on Wednesday night.
Linas Kleiza added 19 points while Jose Calderon had 17 points and 12 assists for the Raptors, who wrapped up a 2-2 homestand with one of their strongest games of the season. Toronto set season highs in points and shooting percentage (59.2) while overcoming a shaky third quarter by dominating the weary Rockets over the final 12 minutes.
Chandler Parsons scored 17 points to lead the Rockets, who have dropped five straight in Toronto, and five in a row overall.
The Raptors got off to a terrific start with a hot-shooting first half, but saw their momentum wane in the third quarter. Johnson's 17-footer with 7:20 remaining gave the Raptors their biggest lead of the night at 71-54, but Houston used a pair of runs — including a 7-0 stretch late in the quarter — to close within five.
Kleiza's 3-pointer from the top of the arc with just over a minute remaining stemmed the surge, and the Raptors entered the fourth with an 82-76 edge.
Toronto rediscovered its offensive touch in a sensational final quarter. Barbosa drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the Raptors up by nine, and DeRozan's layup off a feed from Calderon with 5:22 remaining restored the double-digit lead.
Moments later, Barbosa finished off a 3-on-1 break with a layup and foul shot. The Rockets didn't challenge the rest of the way, looking worn down one night after losing an overtime decision in Boston.
Toronto connected on nine of its first 12 shots to open up a 20-13 advantage, but the Rockets responded with a quarter-closing 11-4 run to draw even at 28-28. A Barbosa three-point play with 8:32 left extended the Toronto lead to five, and Barbosa hit a long jumper less than a minute later to cap a 13-4 run.
Toronto's Johnsons provided the biggest highlight of the night, as James found Amir for an alley-oop dunk with 1:22 remaining just moments after Amir denied Luis Scola for his third block of the game.
Toronto set season highs in first-half points and field-goal percentage (64.9) on the way to a 58-46 advantage into the break.
Notes: Raptors F-C Andrea Bargnani (calf) missed his 20th straight game Wednesday, but will likely be back this weekend. Head coach Dwane Casey says Bargnani will need to get in at least two practices, but expects the 7-footer to be back in the lineup Sunday against visiting Milwaukee. ... Houston came in with the second-worst road record among NBA teams presently above .500. Only the L.A. Lakers (6-13) entered Wednesday with a worse mark away from home. ... Rockets C Samuel Dalembert, a Montreal resident and a fixture of the men's national team, had 14 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes.