Ross scores 51 points but Raptors fall to Clippers 126-118
Toronto Raptors' Terrence Ross (centre) shoots on Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (left) and Jared Dudley during second half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Saturday, Jan. 25 , 2014. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Daniel Girard, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:34PM EST
TORONTO -- Terrence Ross matched the biggest scoring performance in Toronto Raptors' history Saturday night but it was not enough as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the home side 126-118.
Ross, the second-year small forward had a career-high 51 points, including 10 three-pointers, but the Clippers broke the game open midway through the fourth quarter to win at Air Canada Centre.
Ross got a standing ovation when he stepped to the foul line in the final minute. He made free throws on that trip but missed one of his final two a few seconds later with a chance to break the record.
He matched Vince Carter's 51-point performance for the Raptors in 2000 against Phoenix.
Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, who is being talked of as an NBA all-star, missed the second half with a sprained left foot.
Jamal Crawford had 37 points and Blake Griffin scored 30 to lead the Clippers (31-15).
The game see-sawed back and forth until the mid-point of the final quarter with each trip up the court adding to the drama.
But after Jonas Valanciunas converted an alley oop from Kyle Lowry to give the Raptors (22-21) a 107-106 lead with 6:34 to go in the game, the Clippers went on an 11-1 run over the next 2:42 and never looked back. L.A. improves to 8-2 in their past 10 games.
Ross hit a three-pointer with 0.1 second to go in the third quarter to tie the game 93-93.
L.A. had threatened to run away with the game early in the second half, scoring the first six points of the third quarter to widen the lead to 77-65.
But the Raptors, playing without DeRozan for the entire second half, went on a 13-0 run to take the lead at 78-77. Ross capped the surge by bringing the fans to their feet with back-to-back slam dunks.
The Clippers led 71-65 at halftime despite Ross' record-setting performance.
Toronto's starting small forward hit seven three-pointers in the first half, setting a new franchise mark for field goals beyond the arc in a half. His 23 points after two quarters was just one off his season high.
But Toronto committed seven turnovers in the half, which the Clippers translated into 14 points. L.A. had just two turnovers for four Toronto points.
Crawford led all scorers at halftime with 26 points, including four three-pointers.
Both teams shot the ball well from the field in the first half with L.A. making 55.8 per cent of its baskets and Toronto sinking 54.3 per cent.
The Raptors led 37-36 after the opening 12 minutes as Ross hit his fifth three-pointer, the seventh of the night for Toronto, came with 0.9 seconds to go.
The teams combined for 11 three-pointers in the first quarter with Toronto going 7-for-9 and L.A. hitting 4-of-5.