Depleted Raptors hand Rockets 10th straight loss


Coronavirus protocols forced the Toronto Raptors to play Friday night without most of their coaching staff and forward Pascal Siakam.

But they had two coaches ready to take over on an interim basis, and one of them was on the floor.

Kyle Lowry had a triple-double — 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — in a 122-111 victory over the Houston Rockets. The veteran guard added his share of input to assistant coach Sergio Scariolo, who took over as coach in the absence of head coach Nick Nurse.

“We understood the situation, and we didn’t want to make it overcomplicated. Me and and Freddy (VanVleet) are always coaches on the floor anyway,” Lowry said.

The Raptors were without Nurse and five members of his staff in accordance with the NBA’s health and safety protocols regarding the coronavirus. They learned shortly before the game that Siakam would be unavailable for the same reason.

“All day it was kind of reacting, all the time, to something different,” said Scariolo, who had been away from the Raptors until Monday while coaching Spain in FIBA’s EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers, and just cleared quarantine Friday. “But at the end of the day we got a W, so who cares?”

Heat 124, Jazz 116: Jimmy Butler and host Miami got their most significant win of the season and took down the team with the NBA’s best record in the process. Butler scored a season-high 33 points, reserve Goran Dragic tied his season-best with 26 and the Heat handed Utah its third loss in its past 25 games.

Celtics 118, Pacers 112: Kemba Walker scored a season-high 32 points to help Boston snap a three-game losing streak with a win over visiting Indiana. Daniel Theis added 17 points and Jaylen Brown had 15.

Suns 106, Bulls 97: Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton each scored 22 points to help Phoenix snatch a road win. Chris Paul, who’ll join Booker at the All-Star Game, added 14 points, 15 assists and six rebounds to help the Suns win for the 10th time in 12 games.