TORONTO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan scored a season-best 41 points along with a career-best 13 rebounds in the team's 114-106 comeback victory over the Boston Celtics in Tuesday evening's NBA action.
DeRozan and the Raptors struggled in the first two and a half quarters, trailing by as many as 16 points at one point. But Toronto came alive in the fourth quarter and finished the final 6:18 of the game on a 23-6 run to mount their best comeback of the season.
"Sometimes you get tired of getting beaten up. If you're playing in the playground when I was little, you get tired of getting beat up by the bully and you fight back. That's what we did, we fought back," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey following the win.
DeRozan was a big part of the comeback, with racking up 31 points and nine rebounds in the second half.
"He had 10 points at halftime and found the strength and energy to take off in the second half through the contact, through the pounding, through the hits and did an excellent job of playing through it," said Casey.
DeRozan's scoring performance was one shy of his career-high of 42 points and is the third time he has netted 40 or more points this season. He trails Russell Westbrook (6), Anthony Davis (5), and Jimmy Butler (4) for the most 40 point performances this season.
This was also the 19th time he has scored more than 30 points this season. DeRozan is second in the league behind Westbrook's mark of 24 30-point games.
DeRozan credited his team's determination to avoid a third straight loss as the cause of his offensive spark in the second half.
"It sucks to lose. You're going to lose games but you don't want to make it something consistent," said the two-time All-Star after the game. "More than two (losses) and you get into a mode to where you're willing to do whatever it takes to win to get that monkey off your back."
The Raptors were coming off consecutive losses to Houston and Chicago where the team blew double-digit leads of 19 and 13. The last time Toronto lost three consecutive games was in 2015 when they lost to the Kings, Warriors and Jazz between Nov. 15 and Nov. 18.
With the win, Toronto improves to 25-13 on the season and boasts a perfect 6-0 against Atlantic division teams. Toronto and Memphis (4-0) are the only teams with a perfect record against teams in their division.