TORONTO – The 10-game winning streak the Toronto Raptors are on now is all part of the process coach Dwane Casey put in place five years ago.
“He told us to stick to everything he’s showing us and teaching us from the beginning,” DeMar DeRozan said. “It’s big, look at us now. We just beat some record today, just stuff like that.”
Kyle Lowry had 26 points and 10 assists, DeRozan also scored 26 points and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks 103-93 on Thursday night for the longest winning streak in franchise history.
Jonas Valanciunas added 11 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors on the day DeRozan was chosen to join Lowry at next month’s All-Star Game in Toronto.
“Words can’t explain it, especially with the rough time I had last year, going down with the injury,” DeRozan said. “But everything is a process. Nothing was ever given to me. I had to work for every single thing I accomplished, individually and team wise. It was rough but I think that’s made me into the person and player I am today.”
Lowry shook off a sprained left wrist sustained in Tuesday’s win over the Washington Wizards to add 10 assists.
“He looked pretty good, OK, healthy and fresh,” Casey said. “It is still sore, but we can’t dismiss the fact these young men have strung together 10, the first time in 20 years. It’s not the end-all but it’s an accomplishment.”
Arron Afflalo had 20 points for the undermanned Knicks, who matched a season high with a fourth straight loss. New York was without starters Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Jose Calderon.
Coach Derek Fisher was particularly critical of the fact that his team, which came into the game shooting an NBA-best 81.3 percent from the free-throw line, could only convert 50 percent of its 20 shots Thursday.
“We didn’t do enough things to win regardless of who suits up,” Fisher said. “Simple things, we missed free throws again tonight.
“We’ve been a great free throw-shooting team all season; didn’t have the focus necessary to make those free throws. Offensive rebounding again hurt us a little bit. We had our chances; we couldn’t capitalize.”
Bulls 114, Lakers 91
In Los Angeles, Jimmy Butler had 26 points and 10 assists, and Chicago opened its longest road trip of the season with a win over the spiraling Lakers.
Pelicans 114, Kings 105
In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson tied his career high with 36 points and the Pelicans beat Sacramento for their sixth victory in eight games.
Grizzlies 103, Bucks 83
In Memphis, Jeff Green scored 21 points, Marc Gasol added 15 points and eight rebounds, and the Grizzlies pulled away in the second half to beat Milwaukee.
Nuggets 117, Wizards 113
In Washington, Danilo Gallinari had 26 points and hit four of his five 3s to lead Denver over the reeling Wizards.
Pacers 111, Hawks 92
In Indianapolis, Monta Ellis scored 25 points and Myles Turner added 20 in his first NBA start to lead Indiana past Atlanta.
All-Star reserves named
New York — Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were picked Thursday for the Western Conference team, giving the NBA champion Golden State Warriors three All-Stars for the first time in 40 years.
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Houston’s James Harden, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, the Clippers’ Chris Paul and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis were also chosen for the West squad for the Feb. 14 game in Toronto.
The Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan will represent the home team and is joined by fellow East reserves Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Miami’s Chris Bosh, Washington’s John Wall, Atlanta’s Paul Millsap and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.
The reserves were selected by the head coaches in each conference, who had to vote for seven players: two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at any position. They were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.