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NBA: DeRozan's 40 points lead Raptors to win in their opening game


10-27-2016 15:50 BJT

To the hardwood now, and plenty is expected of the Toronto Raptors this year. Last season they challenged the Cleveland Cavaliers for top spot in the East, and will be seeking to do the same this winter.

And the play of DeMar DeRozan will be key, after the All-Star signed a mega-deal in the off-season to stay in T-O, and also spent the summer playing with the U-S Olympic team, grabbing gold in Rio. And the shooting guard, would play like a champion in the Dinos campaign opener against the Detroit Pistons.

T-Dot take an early lead, but Aron Baynes ties things up at 17-all midway through the first quarter. Baynes, going with a new look -- I think it is working, not everyone can pull that off. He had eight off the pine for Detroit.

Jonas Valanciunas then fakes a jumper before driving in for the dunk.The Lithuanian on his way to a career-high 32 points, while also grabbing 11 rebounds for the Raps.

The Pistons get sloppy with the rock later in the second quarter. Cory Joseph finds DeRozan and he goes the other way gets the high kiss off the glass to drop in. That puts the hosts in front by eight.

The men from the Motor City trying to stay within striking distance afteer half-time, as Ish Smith finds Tobias Harris in the corner. Three of his team-leading 22 points cut the deficit to 10.

DeRozan would help Toronto stay in control, pulling up for the silky smooth J. DeMar's game-high 40 points setting a Raptors opening night record.

The visitors continue to bite on the patented Valenciunas headfake, so he drives in for the hoop and the harm, helping the Dinos cruise to an 18-point win.

Elsewhere, the Lakers started the post-Kobe Bryant era with a win over Houston. Luke Walton winning his coaching debut in LA, despite James Harden scoring 34 points and dishing out 17 assists for the Rockets. Denver held off New Orleans, even though Anthony Davis poured in 50 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Pellies. Russell Westbrook's 32 points led OKC past Philly, which got 20 from Joe Embiid, who made his NBA debut after two years of injuries.

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