Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/28/12
NEW ORLEANS -- Showing no ill effects from a triceps injury that sidelined him for the past seven games, point guard Kyle Lowry came off the bench to score five of his 17 points in overtime to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 104-97 victory over the New Orleans Hornets Friday night at the New Orleans Arena. The Raptors, who won for the sixth time in seven games, outscored the Hornets 13-6 in the overtime period, including four points by DeMar DeRozan, who had a game-high 30 points. The Hornets (6-23) trailed 90-83 with 1:38 left in regulation before outscoring the Raptors 8-1 to force overtime. They got two 3-pointers by Ryan Anderson, including one that hit the front and back of the rim before falling through with 8 seconds left, to send the game to overtime. Anderson finished with 17 points, and the Hornets got 25 points from Anthony Davis and 20 from Greivis Vasquez. DeRozan made a key steal on a bad pass by Austin Rivers that led to a breakaway layup and three-point play with 1:38 remaining to give Toronto (10-20) the seven-point lead before the Hornets clawed their way back. The Raptors opened their biggest lead of the game early in the fourth quarter, 81-68, with 6:29 left. Lowry was the catalyst, driving the length of the court for a layup and adding a pair of foul shots. But trailing 83-70, the Hornets scored eight consecutive points -- three by Davis on a twisting layup and foul shot and three on a long-range baseline jumper by Anderson -- to trim the deficit to 83-78 with 3:52 left. The Raptors attacked the basket in the first half, and they converted 15 of 18 free throws to take a 48-42 halftime lead. Their aggressive play in the paint made up for a woeful 1-for-12 shooting from long range. DeRozan scored 11 first-half points, including 7 of 8 from the line. Alan Anderson came off the bench for nine first-half points, including an easy layup after picking Vasquez's pocket under the basket with two seconds left in the half. The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, but they committed eight turnovers in the first half to lose their offensive edge. The Raptors committed just two turnovers in the half. NOTES: In the second half of Friday's game, Tom Benson, owner of the Hornets and the Saints, sat courtside with suspended Saints coach Sean Payton, along with New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond. A source confirmed that Payton had agreed to a new contract to coach the Saints in 2013. "It's done," the source said. ... Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who missed the last seven games with a partially torn right triceps, came off the bench Friday night against the Hornets. Coach Dwayne Casey said Lowry would play with the second unit for now, with Jose Calderon (averaging 13.6 points and 11.2 assists in the previous five games) continuing to start. "Jose deserves the right to start," Casey said. "He's earned it. He got us the winning streak that we had (5-1 in the previous six games). And it's not only the winning streak. (He's) just playing the game the right way." ... Hornets coach Monty Williams said all signs point to shooting guard Eric Gordon playing for the first time this season on Saturday night in Charlotte. Gordon has played in just nine games during the last two seasons because of a right knee injury, but he has participated in full workouts this week and appears ready to go. "I'll talk to the doctors tonight and the trainers and make sure he's ready to go tomorrow," Williams said. "That's the plan to have him ready for tomorrow." ... Hornets forward Jason Smith, who missed the past seven games with a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder, returned to action.
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