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

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

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

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