Pistons 76, Raptors 73

Ben Gordon gave the Detroit Pistons a winning end to an

otherwise ugly game.

The Pistons shook off an awful first half and Gordon scored

seven of their final eight points – including the go-ahead basket –

to hang on for a 76-73 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday

night.

Gordon’s 3-pointer with less than 3 minutes to play broke a

68-all tie and he added four subsequent free throws to keep Detroit

ahead. He and rookie Brandon Knight each scored 19 points to help

the Pistons end a two-game losing streak.

”Obviously all game was pretty much an ugly game,” Gordon

said. ”We just stuck it out and tried to be more persistent than

they were.”

DeMar DeRozan had 16 to lead the Raptors, who lost their third

straight.

The Pistons couldn’t celebrate the victory until Linas Kleiza’s

wide-open 3-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.

”LK had a great look at the end of the game and that’s all we

can ask for,” said Raptors Coach Dwane Casey, who did not play

DeRozan in the final quarter to give a handful of other players

more minutes as his team plays out the final games of the

season.

Alan Anderson had two chances to give the Raptors the lead in

the final 20 seconds but missed both shots.

Gordon’s 3-pointer capped a second half that had 15 lead changes

and five ties. Detroit turned 17 Raptors turnovers into 18 points

and shot 20 percent better from the field in the last 24

minutes.

Neither team will be playing beyond the end of the regular

season and Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said that seemed to show

Sunday night.

”Both teams obviously are in very similar situations,” he

said. ”Almost identical records, both not going to the

playoffs.

”Those games go either one of two ways: Either 130-126 or it’s

this.”

Toronto took a 34-29 lead to intermission after the teams

combined for the NBA’s second-lowest halftime output of the season.

The Pistons made just 27 percent of their field-goal attempts in

the opening half and the Raptors (35.1) weren’t much better.

Detroit’s 29 points were the fewest they’ve scored in a first half

this season.

Greg Monroe had nine points and 17 of Detroit’s 41 rebounds.

Reserves Kleiza and Gary Forbes finished with 12 and 10 points,

respectively, for the Raptors, who also got 10 rebounds from

Solomon Alabi.

NOTES: Casey said he doubted G Jose Calderon will play in either

of the team’s final two games. He’s been out since suffering a cut

above his right eye in an April 11 loss at Philadelphia. . Pistons

F Ben Wallace returned after missing Thursday’s loss to Minnesota

to attend a funeral. . Kleiza (right knee) played for the Raptors

after missing two games. . Indiana and Boston had the league’s

lowest-scoring first half Jan. 6 when they had a combined 58 points

at the break.