TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and Cory Joseph had 15 points and 13 assists as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic 131-112 on Monday night for their sixth straight victory. DeRozan, selected the Eastern Conference player of the week earlier in the day, set the pace early by scoring 18 in the first quarter. Joseph added six rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors (45-29). Elfrid Payton had 22 points and nine assists for Orlando (27-47). Evan Fournier added 20 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 15 assists. It was the first game between the teams since the Raptors traded Terrence Ross to the Magic for Serge Ibaka in February.
– Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his work to encourage youth in their development, fitness and wellness, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities. Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Payton for his continued efforts to enhance the lives of youth in Central Florida and his home state of Louisiana. Payton recently launched a 10-week after-school program at Dover Shores Community Center in Orlando that gives youth access to a variety of arts and cultural field trip opportunities
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points to help the San Antonio Spurs dismantle the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight. Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.