for this game

Raptors test strength against Rockets

Feb 21, 2015 - 3:29 PM ( - The Toronto Raptors just embarrassed the top team in the Eastern Conference and will test their strength against one of the West's best in the Houston Rockets Saturday at the Toyota Center.

The Raptors opened a four-game road trip with Friday night's 105-80 thrashing of the mighty Atlanta Hawks, as Lou Williams buried 7-of-10 3-pointers en route to 26 points off the bench.

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points for Toronto, which had a 23-point lead in the second half and held the Hawks to an opponent season-low 80 points and .330 field goal shooting percentage. Kyle Lowry had 13 points and six assists.

"It was big for us," Lowry said of the big win. "We just go out there and continue to get better."

Toronto has won five in a row on the road and is in the midst of playing nine of 11 games away from home. It can set a franchise record for consecutive road wins against Houston and has the second-best road record in the East (16-8) behind Atlanta (18-8).

The Raptors rank first in the NBA averaging 108.6 points on the road this season and Saturday's game is the first of four consecutive games they will play against Western Conference opponents.

Lowry is averaging 22.4 points on the road (24 games) this season for the Raptors, who have won four straight and 10 of 12 games.

Houston has lost two in a row and three of four games after winning six of the previous seven.

The Rockets sustained a 111-100 setback to the rival Dallas Mavericks Friday night in the finale of a three-game road trip (1-2) and were led by NBA leading scorer James Harden, who had 26 points and made 11-of-13 foul shots. Trevor Ariza and Josh Smith scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.

"We weren't very sharp tonight," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "We weren't that good."

A 17-5 Houston run to start the fourth cut the deficit to 92-84, but the Mavericks were able to pull away.

The Rockets acquired guards Pablo Prigioni and K.J. McDaniels in separate trades on Thursday. Both were inactive against the Mavericks.

Houston will play five in a row at home versus Toronto, Minnesota, LA Clippers, Brooklyn and Cleveland, and is 18-8 in Space City.

The Rockets and Raptors will play the first of two matchups this season and are slated to meet again March 30 at Air Canada Centre. The two teams have split the season series in eight straight campaigns, dating back to 2006-07.

Houston has won seven in a row at home versus Toronto.