The Toronto Raptors were pummeled in the paint and turned the ball over too often.
The way DeMar DeRozan and crew were shooting, it didn't matter.
DeRozan scored 25 points and the Raptors shot 59 per cent from the floor to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 125-116 on Wednesday night.
Toronto made 47 per cent of its 3-point attempts, and seven Raptors had at least 10 points. Among them were Kyle Lowry with 22, Jonas Valanciunas with 21 and C.J. Miles at 17.
"Coaches are preaching, 'When you've got open looks, take them and be aggressive in all the things you do,"' Lowry said.
Miles made five 3-pointers and Lowry had four. DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet each had two.
Pelicans' defence struggles
"They were hot," Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson said. "We had some breakdowns and they made us pay. On offence we're just as good as anyone, but on defence we have to get better."
DeMarcus Cousins scored 25 points for the Pelicans, and Anthony Davis had 19. New Orleans outscored Toronto 64-42 in the paint and won the turnover battle 21-14 but couldn't slow the Raptors' sharp-shooters.
"Our rotations were bad," Cousins said. "Communication was pretty bad. We let guys that are known shooters get wide open shots, so that's on us. We were a bit limited tonight."
The Raptors won for the fourth time in five games. The Pelicans lost for the second time in their last seven games.
'I'm being assertive'
Toronto turned a one-point halftime edge into a 98-86 lead after three quarters, boosted by DeRozan's 11 points.
Lowry scored on an offensive rebound and Miles made a 3-pointer as Toronto extended the lead to 110-93 early in the fourth.
"I'm being assertive," said Miles, who has made 12 of 28 3-pointers in the last four games. "Guys are looking for me and we're moving the basketball, which is creating openings. If [opponents] are going to give me space I'm going to make them pay."
The Pelicans led by 14 points in the first quarter. Pascal Siakam scored 10 points, all on layups, as Toronto took a 45-42 lead early in the second quarter.
Jrue Holiday scored eight points as New Orleans regained the lead before Lowry made a 3-pointer that gave the Raptors a 64-63 halftime advantage....Read more