Raptors 99, Pistons 82

Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors are out of the playoff picture

and have just 10 games left before their season ends. That doesn’t

mean they’re going to go quietly.

Gay scored 19 of his 21 points during a dominant third quarter

and the Raptors ended a five-game skid with a 99-82 victory over

the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Toronto led 46-45 at the break and took control by outscoring

the Pistons 23-5 in the first eight minutes of the third

period.

DeMar DeRozan also had 21 to help Toronto win a second straight

meeting with the Pistons.

”Whatever he drank at halftime, he needs to keep drinking it,”

coach Dwane Casey said of Gay, who was 7 for 11 from the floor in

the third.

”Something clicked at halftime to get him going.”

Gay had just two free throws in the first half, but heated up

quickly once the teams returned to the floor. He scored eight of

the Raptors’ first 10 second-half points and added two 3-pointers

later in the period to help turn the game into a rout.

”We’ve got a lot of young players and we’re playing for next

year,” Gay said. ”These young guys need to know what it feels

like to win.”

Amir Johnson added 20 points, including 10 during the second

period that helped the Raptors take the lead for good.

Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Kyle Lowry

added 11 assists.

”Rudy picked it up in the third and DeMar got it going, too,”

Lowry said. ”When they get going, it’s hard to stop them.”

Jonas Jerebko scored 20 points to lead the Pistons, who also got

17 from rookie Andre Drummond in their eighth straight home loss.

Detroit made just six field goals in the third and often couldn’t

seem to stop Gay once he got hot.

”It just doesn’t add up when you’re competitive for a half,”

an exasperated Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. ”It just

snowballed on us.

”This is embarrassing.”

The Pistons turned the ball over four times in the third and

Toronto turned the miscues into nine points. Detroit ended the game

with 13 giveaways.

Drummond, who missed 22 games with a stress fracture in his

lower back, made his first career start and played for the first

time since leaving a Feb. 6 loss to Brooklyn.

Kyle Singler added 13 points and Greg Monroe added 11 points and

13 rebounds as Detroit fell for the 12th time in its last 13

games.

It was the first time Toronto played against Pistons point guard

Jose Calderon since the Jan. 30 trade that sent longtime Raptor

Calderon to Detroit, Tayshaun Prince to Memphis and Gay to

Toronto.

NOTES: Pistons guard Brandon Knight left the game less than a

minute in after a collision with Toronto’s DeRozan left him with a

bloody nose. He returned a few minutes later wearing a protective

mask and limped off the floor after being fouled midway through the

fourth quarter. . It was `90s Night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Actor Luke Perry of ”Beverly Hills 90210” fame presented the game

ball. . Longtime Pistons trainer Mike Abdenour is resting at home

after having a stent procedure placed for a heart condition that

was discovered March 24. He’s been with the team for 34

seasons.