DeMar DeRozan Breaks Raptors Franchise Record with 52 Points

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It was pointed out to DeMar DeRozan that the Raptors are about to face a hard stretch of the National Basketball Association schedule with some excellent teams ahead, including a playoff rematch with the Milwaukee Bucks to open the calendar year.

It was an intriguing contest to kick off January, following a December in which the Raptors had the best record (11-3) among all National Basketball Association teams except the Golden State Warriors (13-3).

Wisconsin Herd barrel through Canton Charge, win 139-119 (read here): Jordan Treske recapped the Herd's big win to close the calendar year, as not only did they beat the Charge by 20 points, but they set a new franchise-high for points scored in a single game too.

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They entered 2017 with high expectations but completely flopped, going just 6-10 while disappointing across the board. The offense, including Derek Carr , performed poorly throughout the season.

It was not an easily-fought victory, however, as the Bucks forced the Raptors into overtime, but 26 points from Kyle Lowry also helped lift Toronto to their 12th home win in a row.

DeRozan made 17 of 29 field-goal attempts and shot 13 for 13 at the free-throw line.

In the last two years, Anteteokounmpo has seen continued improvement in his game that has earned him the respect and recognition as one of the top players in the league.

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Will the host Toronto Raptors cover the number as favorites tonight when they battle the Milwaukee Bucks? His five 3-pointers were one shy of his career high. The Raptors were led by 19 points from Serge Ibaka and 14 points from Cory Joseph, starting in place of Lowry.

DeRozan played perhaps his best defensive possession of the game on the final play, harassing Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe until the buzzer went.

In DeRozan's previous matchups with Khris Middleton, the Toronto Raptors' shooting guard has struggled to find his rhythm.

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The six-foot-11 all-star didn't dominate or even get to the rim too often, finishing with 24 points and eight rebounds. He scored the first nine points of the game and had 21 in the first, the most by a Raptors player in a quarter this season. Toronto heads out on a three-game road trip following Monday's game at the ACC where they will face the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks for a second time, and then close out the trip in Brooklyn.