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Raptors 102, Trail Blazers 79

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Rookie guard Terrence Ross scored a career-best 26 points coming off the bench and had five rebounds as the Toronto Raptors led all the way to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 102-79 Wednesday at Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors earned their third victory in a row, and they ended an eight-game head-to-head losing streak to the Blazers that included four games at ACC.

DeMar DeRozan had 24 points for Toronto despite seeing little playing time in the fourth quarter, and Ed Davis added 19 points and seven rebounds. Reserve forward Amir Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Toronto point guard Jose Calderon did not score but had 13 assists.

Rookie guard Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 18 points and seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Portland. Wesley Matthews had 12 points, Joel Freeland scored 11 off the bench, and Nicolas Batum chipped in with 10.

The Raptors (12-20) won the opener of a six-game homestand, giving them eight victories in their past nine games. The Blazers (16-15) entered with a two-game winning streak, including a 105-100 victory over the Knicks in New York on Tuesday. Portland had won eight of its previous 10 games.

The Blazers appeared to be feeling the effects of the game in New York. The Raptors had not played since Saturday, when they completed a three-game trip with a win at Orlando.

After scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter, the Raptors led 82-61. They pushed the lead up to 25 when Ross made his career-high sixth 3-pointer of the game with 1:06 to play.

The Raptors opened the second half with a 15-point lead and showed no signs of letting up after DeRozan opened the scoring in the third quarter with a jump shot. Ross hit his fifth 3-pointer in six attempts with seven seconds left in the third quarter, and Portland's Sasha Pavlovic hit a 23-footer with one second left to leave Toronto with a 78-61 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Toronto scored the game's first 10 points and led 24-17 after the first quarter. The Raptors led 55-39 at the half after Ross' 3-pointer beat the buzzer. Ross was 4-for-5 in 3-pointers in the half for 13 points, while DeRozan led all scorers in the half with 16.

NOTES: Despite the Raptors' recent surge, coach Dwane Casey said the team is not yet thinking about the possibility of making the playoffs. "We're still digging ourselves out of a hole," he said before Wednesday's game against Portland. "We're taking it a game at a time, a quarter of a time. We have to continue to play as a team and play the game the right way." ... Casey said he still has no date for a possible return of forward/center Andrea Bargnani (right elbow). ...Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas (right ring finger) is still out. ... Blazers assistant coach Jay Triano was with the Raptors from 2000-10, most recently as vice president of pro scouting. He also was the team's head coach in 2009-10. ...The teams were playing for the second and final time this season. The Blazers won in Portland 92-74 on Dec. 10. ... Portland center Meyers Leonard (right ankle) was on the inactive list for Wednesday's game, joining guard Elliot Williams (left Achilles tendon). ... The Raptors play at home against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Portland plays the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday.
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