Raptors halt Rockets' win streak at 17 games


Los Angeles (AFP)

The Toronto Raptors withstood a late surge from Houston to halt the Rockets' 17-game NBA winning streak with a 108-105 victory Friday in a clash of conference leaders.

Kyle Lowry scored 30 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 for the Eastern Conference leading Raptors, who have already secured a playoff berth.

James Harden scored 40 points for the Rockets, who came into the game with the best record in the league but trailed by as many as 19 in the first half and by 15 at the break.

The Rockets were down by 17 with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter.

Despite their struggles from three-point range, Houston chipped away and knotted the score at 102-102 on a three-pointer by Harden with 2:10 left.

DeRozan put the Raptors back up by two with a jump shot with 1:49 remaining and the Rockets wouldn't get as close again.

Chris Paul finished with 14 points for Houston but missed a go-ahead three-pointer with 14.5 seconds to play.

After Jonas Valanciunas made two free throws to stretch Toronto's lead to three points with 5.4 seconds left, Harden missed a last-gasp three-point attempt and the Raptors' seventh straight win was in the books.