Charles Barkley: 'These are not the same Toronto Raptors'

Joe Johnson expected to return Friday vs. Raptors, Ryan Anderson doubtful

Raptors: Forward OG Anunoby (sprained right ankle) missed his fourth straight game.

Give Drake, the rapper and Toronto Raptors' "global ambassador", credit for being bold.

It was about the Toronto Raptors - the best team in the East who have already made it to the play-offs - against the Houston Rockets, the Western Conference leaders who were on a 17-game winning streak. Before James Harden made a pair of three's late in the quarter, the Rockets had been 1-12 from behind the arc.

DeRozan and the Raptors will have a chance to strengthen Barkley's belief when they play the top team in the National Basketball Association, the Houston Rockets, in their own building Friday night. The Blazers' streak started when they beat Golden State 123-117 at the Moda Center on February 14, the last game before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, his Rockets are first out west (by a half-game) with a 51-14 record. It was a missed opportunity for the Rockets and the nine-time All-Star lamented the play after the game. DeRozan had seven points for the Raptors, who led 58-43 at halftime.

DeMar DeRozan answered a game-tying 3-pointer by Rockets guard James Harden with a hard turnaround jumper over Harden to reclaim the lead with 1:49 left.

DeMar DeRozan is having a career year, leading the Raptors to the top of the Eastern conference, and on Wednesday he put down arguably his most impressive performance of the season.

In Portland, CJ McCollum scored 30 points, Damian Lillard added 28 and the Portland Trail Blazers won their ninth straight game with a 125-108 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

James Harden was able to get off a shot at the buzzer, but it didn't come close to hitting the basket.

James Harden scored 40 points but the Rockets lost for the first time since January 27 at New Orleans.

The Rockets were down by 17 with less than 5 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.

Drake's taunting prediction came during the Rockets' worst offensive first quarter of the season. They finished 14 of 27 from 3-point range.

The Clippers led most of the game, coming out energized at the start and shooting 50 percent in the first quarter while taking an 18-point lead. They missed eight of their first ten shots and ended up making just six of 21 attempts (0-5 from three-point range).

The Rockets will look to avoid back-to-back losses when they take on the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night at the American Airlines Center.

Related News:

Most liked

Australia Disputes US Tariffs Linked to New Security Pact
The decision has been made following negotiations held between the United States and Australia on the matter. While the world fears a new trade war in imminent, Donald Trump has announced Australia is off the hook.

Nun Embroiled in Katy Perry Legal Conflict Dies at 89
They say their convent is under the direct control of the Vatican and has never been a part of the LA Archdiocese . Sister Holzman was 89 when she collapsed in the courtroom, later to be pronounced dead.

Airport Chaos: Technical issues causing major delays at Sydney Airport
The airport is now experiencing technical issues at security and check-in desks, causing major interruptions to outbound flights. The airport has now resumed processing passengers as per usual, it said on Twitter , without specifying details of the problem.

Arsenal suffer setback ahead of AC Milan game
Sometimes you have to admit that they are better or are in a better situation. We know each other from playing in a few derbies.

Pipe burst leaves thousands without water in London
In Kent, which is adjacent to London , without water were 5 thousand households, according to a service company "Southern Water". Severn Trent said that it was working with other big businesses in the area on limiting water consumption.

North Korea 'sincere' in talks offer — Donald Trump
But opposition leaders expressed skepticism over Moon's claim that North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize. In previous programmes to halt its nuclear ambitions, the North has failed to keep its promises.

Missouri officer killed, 2 wounded responding to 911 call
The officers entered the house to confront the man, who shot and killed one officer and wounded the two others, said Patrol Sgt. Missouri State Highway PatrolClinton Police Officer Ryan Morton was killed in the line of duty after responding to a 911 call.

White House: Arbitration won against porn actress
In mid-February, Michael Cohen , a personal attorney for the president, admitted he had personally given $ 20,000 to her in 2016. Avenatti, during an interview Wednesday on " Today ", said the suit, if successful, would allow his client to "tell her story".

New Nintendo Direct Announced for This Month
Here's hoping that these announcements are particularly awesome as a way of celebrating the Switch's one year anniversary. The Nintendo Direct for them will be an opportunity to see just how much Nintendo can show their faith was well placed.

Kirk Cousins between Jets and Vikings
He set career highs in completion percentage (67.6 percent), passing yards (3,547), touchdown passes (22) and passer rating (98.3).

U.S. student who killed parents at university appears in court via video
Pleasant police have confirmed the victims are the parents of the teen police are looking for after the shooting. The father was a police officer with the Bellwood Police Department in IL , according to WZZM 13 (see above).

Expedite process to accord special status to AP: Governor to Centre
He reminded that Congress, which had played with Telugu people, lost address in the state, the BJP should remember that. We have spoken of good deeds of BJP to the people of the state, however, our fight is for the promises unfulfilled.

Oscars: Allison Janney dedicates her win to her late brother Hal Janney
My heart broke a little for her watching these interviews because you can see underneath the denial of the hurt that's there. She recently starred on Broadway SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION for which she received a Tony Award nomination.

Antonio Conte sends honest message to Chelsea FC fans about Ross Barkley
Chelsea had frustrated City in the first half but the game was won by a Bernardo Silva strike in the first minute after the break. Speaking after the match, Redknapp did not hold back, giving a scathing assessment of Chelsea's performance against City.

Jordan Peele hails 'renaissance' after making Oscars history
He cited Whoopi Goldberg's 1991 speech for her best supporting actress Oscar win for Ghost as being "a huge inspiration to me". A Fantastic Woman , about a trans woman mourning the death of her partner, was named the best foreign language film .