TORONTO -- Only a few hours after he was listed as questionable to play, DeMar DeRozan lifted the Toronto Raptors to an historic win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
DeRozan had 30 points, including 14 free throws, in a 128-94 win, showing no ill effects of a flu bug that had bothered him earlier in the day.
The Raptors' 34-point margin of victory beat their previous record of 32 over the Sixers set Nov. 7, 2014.
Serge Ibaka had 21 points, including five three-pointers, Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points, and Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright had 14 points apiece for the Raptors (2-0), who lost Jonas Valanciunas late in the first half to a sprained left ankle.
Former Raptor Jerryd Bayless led the rebuilding Sixers (0-3) with 16 points.
The Raptors led for all but the Sixers' opening basket, and put their exclamation mark on a dominant performance with a beautiful play to end the third quarter -- a dump pass from backup point guard Wright to rookie OG Anunoby, who spotted Lowry alone in the corner. Lowry connected on the three-point shot, and the tic-tac-toe play sent the Raptors into the fourth quarter with a 102-71 lead, and delighted a capacity Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,800 that included Drake.
The insurmountable lead allowed the starters to sit out the fourth quarter as Raptors coach Dwane Casey emptied his bench, and a three-pointer by Fred VanVleet with six minutes left sucked any last life out of the young Sixers squad.
The Raptors shot 47 per cent on the night, but only hit 13 of 43 three-point attempts. Their efforts at better ball-sharing remains a work in progress -- they had 23 assists on the night.
A master at drawing contact, DeRozan spent seemingly half his night at the free-throw line, missing just two of his 16 free throws, Lowry leading the way with five.
The Sixers were missing starting centre Joel Embiid, who had 11 points and 14 rebounds in the Sixers' 102-92 loss to Boston the previous night. Embiid hasn't been cleared to play on back-to-back nights.
Leading by just a point eight minutes into the game, the Raptors closed the first quarter with an 18-3 run to lead 36-19 heading into the second quarter.
The Sixers sliced the lead to single digits several times during the second quarter, but Toronto held on to take a 62-49 advantage into the halftime break.
Things get much more difficult for the Raptors come Monday when they open a six-game western road trip in San Antonio. They'll face reigning NBA champion Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland, Denver, before wrapping up the trip in Utah. They're not back at the Air Canada Centre until Nov. 5, when they host the Washington Wizards.