January 17, 2015

The Toronto Raptors ended their first losing streak of the season by taking advantage of a matchup with a struggling team.

They'll get another such game Friday night against the severely depleted New Orleans Pelicans, who didn't have Anthony Davis in their latest contest.

Toronto (6-3) ended a three-game slide Wednesday with a 119-103 victory at winless Philadelphia. The Raptors shot a season-best 48.3 percent, had a season-low eight turnovers and outrebounded the 76ers 56-37.

Kyle Lowry scored 23 points for a second straight game, and Luis Scola had 17 of his season-high 21 in the third quarter. The Raptors also played short-handed with DeMarre Carroll (heel) and Terrence Ross (thumb) out.

"It was a good win for our team. We needed it with the three-game losing streak," Lowry said. "We did things we needed to do. We could have been a little bit better defensively, but I think we made some effort and strides to getting back to the way we know how to play."

Playing just one of their four home games between Nov. 3-Dec. 2, the Raptors look to drop New Orleans to 1-8 before beginning a five-game trip against Western Conference teams.

The Pelicans earned their lone win Tuesday, 120-105 against Dallas, despite Davis sitting out the second half with a bruised right hip. Davis didn't play in the following night's 106-98 loss in Atlanta.

New Orleans tried to make up for his absence by shooting a season high 48.3 percent from 3-point range. The Pelicans made 14 shots from beyond the arc for the second straight game.

"I thought we ran out of gas a little bit. We had guys playing a lot of minutes," coach Alvin Gentry said. "I think we played hard and competed like crazy. We just weren't able to make plays to get over the hump."

Starting point guard Jrue Holiday (leg), Tyreke Evans (knee), Norris Cole (ankle), Quincy Pondexter (knee) and Kendrick Perkins (pectoral) were also out for the Pelicans, who are off to their second-worst start in franchise history.

New Orleans lost 19 of its first 20 games in 2004-05 and 29 of its first 31.

The Pelicans won both matchups against the Raptors last season - following six consecutive losses in the series - even with Davis and Holiday missing each game. Davis was nursing an injured left foot during a 95-93 victory in Toronto on Jan. 18 and had a sprained right shoulder during a 100-97 home win Feb. 23.

Holiday was limited to 40 games because of an ailing right leg, and Ryan Anderson sat out in the win in New Orleans because of a sprained right knee. Anderson is averaging 21.0 points while shooting 53.2 percent in his last three games, but the Pelicans likely won't have their hero from the latest visit to Toronto. Evans made a layup with 1.6 seconds left and had 26 points.

Alexis Ajinca averaged 19.0 points while shooting 72.0 percent in the two 2014-15 matchups. He had a go-ahead layup in the final minute in the win in February, but he has gone scoreless in his last two games.

Carroll is listed as questionable for this game while there is no timetable for Ross' return.

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