|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 PM CT23:30 , December 26, 2020
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
DeRozan, Spurs rally past Raptors 119-114 in home opener
By RAUL DOMINGUEZ
SAN ANTONIO (AP) San Antonio is emphasizing a youth movement this season. The team's veterans are still capable of pulling out a victory.
DeMar DeRozan had 27 points and the Spurs rallied in the final minute to beat the Toronto Raptors 119-114 on Saturday night.
San Antonio's Dejounte Murray added 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double. Murray became just the 14th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
DeRozan's 3-pointer with a minute remaining pulled the Spurs within 114-113. The 12-year veteran was 3 for 4 on 3-pointers as he joined the list of top 100 scorers in league history.
"DeMar, that's part of his game this season, to shoot more 3s," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's more confident with it and it shows."
The Spurs took a 115-114 lead on LaMarcus Aldridge's fadeaway put-back with 29.9 seconds remaining. In his 15th season, Aldridge outfought a host of Raptors and even Murray for the rebound after San Antonio missed two previous shots.
"It was impressive," Murray said of Aldridge's effort.
Toronto's Kyle Lowry missed a pull-up 19-footer with 22.3 seconds left, and 34-year-old Rudy Gay made two free throws at the other end.
Fred VanVleet had 27 points and Chris Boucher added 22 points for the Raptors in their first road game. Toronto had six players score in double figures, including all five starters.
Patty Mills added 21 points, Lonnie Walker IV had 14 and Aldridge and Keldon Johnson each had 12 for San Antonio.
The Spurs had 36 assists to achieve a balanced scoring.
"It was all over the place," DeRozan said of the team's pace. "That's how we need to play. When we move the ball the way we did tonight, you're going to have more outcomes like tonight."
San Antonio was playing its first home game since March 10 prior to the league imposing a four-month layoff due to the pandemic.
The Spurs played a standard message outlining league rules for fans in attendance even as the AT&T Center was essentially empty. There were a few family members scattered in the lower bowl, but their support was drowned out by recorded cheers.
Popovich expects more 3-point shooting this season, and the Spurs responded by going 14 for 34 after attempting 25 in their season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs had four 3-pointers in the second quarter to match their output in the opening period, but quickening their pace enabled them to add three dunks in the second.
Raptors: Lowry had 16 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in two games. He is averaging 17 points and 10 assists for Toronto. ... Aron Baynes made his San Antonio debut as a member of the Raptors. In his ninth season, Baynes spent his first three seasons in the NBA with the Spurs before moving on to Detroit, Boston, Phoenix and Toronto.
Spurs: Popovich said Derrick White is progressing and "should return soon" after not playing in the preseason and missing the team's opener following left toe surgery. The team's starting point guard was running, cutting and shooting 3-pointers prior to the game with no visible signs of discomfort. ... The last two Spurs triple-doubles both came at home against the Raptors. Prior to Murray's triple-double on Saturday, DeRozan had the team's previous on Jan. 3, 2019.
Raptors: Complete a two-game road trip against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Spurs: Play the first back-to-back game on Saturday in New Orleans against the Pelicans.
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Updated December 26, 2020