Raptors win 10 in a row, but Casey looks further ahead

TORONTO • Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey is pleased with the accomplishment of setting a franchise-record 10-game winning streak in the National Basketball Association.

He is far from satisfied though. He has other goals in mind, like overtaking the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-12) for first place in the Eastern Conference.

"It's not what we're all about," Casey said after the Raptors defeated the New York Knicks 103-93 on Thursday. "We can't pooh-pooh it, This is an accomplishment. These guys have worked hard, found a way to win but this is a marathon."

The Raptors had 26 points each from All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Lowry, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter when the Knicks were still in the game, also had 10 assists while playing with a sore left wrist.

Centre Jonas Valanciunas had a season-best 18 rebounds to go with 11 points.

Knicks guard Arron Afflalo scored 20 points for New York (22-26), who have lost four in a row.

The Raptors' previous record winning streak was nine games from March 22 to April 9 in 2002.

The Raptors (31-15) led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter and by 10 entering the fourth quarter. The Knicks crept to within seven points before the Raptors stretched the lead to 11 points on a three-pointer by Lowry with 1min 45sec to play.

Lowry and DeRozan are going to play in the All-Star Game in two weeks at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Raptors, after the latter was announced as a reserve on Thursday.

"We both want to make one another great," DeRozan said. "We're always trying to figure out how to make this team great. When you have a team-mate like that, it makes everything else easy."

The starters, who are voted for by the fans, were named earlier this month and Thursday's announcement filled out the rosters for the Feb 14 midseason showcase.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler highlight the selections for the reserves for each conference who were chosen by the 30 coaches.

Key absentees include Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) and Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls).

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2016, with the headline 'Raptors win 10 in a row, but Casey looks further ahead'. Print Edition | Subscribe