Gary Trent Jr. will be going for a Toronto Raptors record of six straight games with 30 or more points Thursday night against the visiting Chicago Bulls and DeMar DeRozan, who has a personal interest in the potential feat.
DeRozan, now with the Bulls, had a Raptors-record five straight games with 30 or more points Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2016, as he opened that season on a red-hot run.
Trent equaled that record Tuesday when he scored 33 points in a 110-106 home victory over the Miami Heat.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Trent said. “What [DeRozan has] done for this organization, this city, the type of player he is, what he stands for, where he’s from, his background. To share that with him, knowing what he does and what he means for this organization, I can’t put into words. It’s not something I’m going out there to reach for, it’s not something I’m chasing.”
The Raptors have won three in a row going into the middle game of a three-game homestand on Thursday.
DeRozan also had a good game Tuesday with 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a 126-115 home victory over the Orlando Magic. Zach LaVine added 26 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
“DeRozan is having an MVP-type year,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.
The Bulls are 2-1 since their 111-105 home victory over the Raptors on Jan. 26.
Trent scored 32 points in the loss at Chicago, the second game of his streak.
He was 6 of 10 on three-point attempts on Tuesday to set a team record with five or more three-pointers in five consecutive games. Kyle Lowry did it in four straight games, May 18-23, 2018.
“[Trent is] a rock star in every sense of the word and I just really have appreciated his passion for the game this year and his compete level,” said Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, who scored 21 points Tuesday. “He started this whole year off with defense and now you’re seeing what he really is, which is a gunner and he’s in an incredible zone. ... No, he’s not in the flow. He is the flow. He is his own flow.”
The Bulls also defeated the Raptors 111-108 at Toronto on Oct. 25 with DeRozan scoring 26 points. Chicago has won the five past meetings with Toronto.
In eight games against the Raptors, DeRozan has averaged 23 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.8 assists.