TORONTO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- DeMar DeRozan recorded a career-best 40 points on Wednesday night to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 93-85 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in NBA action.
The five-year veteran's previous best was 37 points recorded on three separate occasions with the most recent occurring on Nov. 15 against the Chicago Bulls.
"It's just being aggressive and having the passion to win," said DeRozan after the game. "To be honest it's just the fight within, just to do whatever I could do to help my team win."
The win did not come easy for DeRozan and the Raptors, as they trailed by as many as 21 points in the first quarter.
"It's frustrating when we get down early and we have to fight extra hard just to get back into it," he said. "We couldn't drag on to the third quarter because they (Dallas) are too good of a team."
Toronto eventually fought back to outscore Dallas 78-51 in the final three quarters of the game.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey saw improvements in DeRozan's game and is not surprised by the career night.
"Hit was growth on his part from being double teamed and being patient enough to get the ball back and be able to score," Casey said after the game.
DeRozan's 40-point performance makes him the seventh player in franchise history to record at least 40 points and the 28th time in the regular season.
He joins Acie Earl (1995-96), Tracy Murray (1995-96), Charlie Villanueva (2005-06), Andrea Bargnani (2010-11) as ex-Raptors to accomplish the feat once.
All-Star Chris Bosh has scored 40 or more nine between 2006 and 2010. Vince Carter is ranked first with 14 occurrences from 1999 to 2004.
Carter also holds the distinction of being the only Raptors player to score over 50 points, when he scored 51 points on Feb. 27, 2000.