DeMar DeRozan goes off for franchise-record 52 points


It was pointed out to DeMar DeRozan that the Raptors are about to face a hard stretch of the National Basketball Association schedule with some excellent teams ahead, including a playoff rematch with the Milwaukee Bucks to open the calendar year.

Kris Dunn scored 22 points and reserve Nikola Mirotic had 18 points for Chicago, which blew a late lead for a second straight game. Bledsoe hit big buckets down the stretch, as did Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Delavadova - more familiar foes from last year's playoffs.

Caris LeVert also had 15 points, while DeMarre Carroll chipped in 14 points, 10 rebounds and the tiebreaking free throw with 34.5 seconds remaining.

The Toronto Raptors look for another victory after winning seven of their last nine games.

The Raptors did as well as any team could in harnessing Antetokounmpo, who came into the game second in the league in soring averaging 29.1 points per game.

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Raptors' Kyle Lowry had 26 points in Toronto's OT win over Milwaukee. Serge Ibaka is the third double-digit scorer and Jonas Valanciunas is grabbing 7.7 rebounds. The Toronto Raptors are allowing 35 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.5 rebounds per game.

The Bucks (19-15) were visiting Toronto for the first time since the opening round of the 2017 National Basketball Association playoffs, when the talented young squad led by 6-foot-11 phenom Antetokounmpo got the NBA's attention by going up 2-1 on the favoured Raptors before Toronto won in six.

Kicking off 2018: Toronto enters the new year with a 24-10 record, going an NBA-best 13-1 on the Air Canada Centre floor.

Who the Trends Like: The over is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings in Toronto, but the under is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings overall.

The Raptors - still second place in the East behind Cleveland - now hit the road for three, visiting the Bulls, Bucks and Nets. I have to lay the reasonable number with Toronto at home, as the Bucks simply aren't playing well enough to trust right now.