It was bound to happen eventually. If not for DeRozan and the Raptors, Harden and the Rockets would be on an 18-game winning streak. The only question was whether it would come after the team has an off-night against a lousy team or some real competition. Houston struggled to hit any shots. It was the mid-range-loving Raptors who out-shot the quick-trigger Rockets from 3-point range.
But Houston was not going to go down easy. "It's one of them games ... you get up for".
But with just one three-pointer made, it wasn't an impressive night - especially considering Valanciunas had been the most efficient player on jump shots from three-point range (minimum: 30 possessions) this season, per Synergy Sports. It was one of Houston's lowest-scoring quarters of the season.
However, Harden's valiant efforts seemed to go in vain when the Rockets found themselves in the midst of a two-minute dry patch which helped Raptors capitalize and eventually led to their victory.
Lowry got off to a hot start on the offensive end, making six of his eight shots in the opening half, including four 3-pointers.
Trailing by about 10 points for most of the fourth quarter, Milwaukee got within 104-99 with 1:06 left on Sterling Brown's layup.
Capela got the rebound, but Paul missed a three of his own, but the Rockets couldn't corral the rebound. Kyle Lowry is the ultimate floor general, setting the team's pulse with his playmaking and emotion.
His free throw put the Raptors up by two, but Griffin scored inside with 0.9 seconds left to tie it.More news: Baylor Basketball falls to WVU in Big 12 tournament
James Harden played sensational basketball all evening and was vital in Houston mounting their comeback.
Harden led Houston with 40 points.
Chris Paul finished with 14 points for Houston but missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14.5 seconds to play.
Kyle Lowry provided 30 points and DeMar DeRozan chipped in 23 as the Raptors won their seventh in a row, 108-105 against the Rockets.
While the Raptors would need overtime to win, DeRozan's dunk was an exclamation point on a fantastic night in which he scored 42 points to lead Toronto to its sixth straight win.
"I knew him when he didn't have a lick of hair on his face", said DeRozan earlier of the bearded all-star. Houston, by far the NBA's best first-quarter team with an average margin of plus-4.8 points, was doubled up in the first dozen minutes in large part due to a terrific defensive performance by the Raptors. On Friday night they gave a taste of what a potential seven game series could look like between the two. "Our defense wasn't aggressive enough early".
It took less than 48 hours for Toronto to prove it was up to the task.