Pistons ride their bench to 16-point comeback over the Raptors

The Detroit Pistons (26-29) overcame a 16-point deficit to stun the Raptors (33-23) in Toronto 102-101 Sunday night.

The Detroit Pistons shocked the Toronto Raptors 102-101 at Air Canada Centre Sunday night. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope buried the go-ahead 3-point shot with 13.2 seconds remaining in the game to complete the 16-point comeback.

The Pistons forced a miss from Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan as time expired to secure their first win against the Raptors in Toronto since January of 2015. This win pulls the Pistons even with the Chicago Bulls for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons trailed since early in the second quarter before finally taking back the lead late in the fourth. The bench outscored the starters 52-50, and were key in the second and fourth quarters in which the Pistons made their runs.

Here are the grades for Sunday’s win:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SG, Detroit Pistons


KCP struggled on offense for most of the game, but had his hands full on defense against the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. DeRozan finished with a game-high of 26 points, but only scored six of those when guarded by KCP. When Stan Van Gundy went went to his bench down the stretch, KCP was the only starter to remain in for most of the game, totaling 40 minutes on the night. Despite shooting 8-for-22 from the field (2-for-12 from 3), KCP got a lot of extra credit for his clutch shots late in the fourth.

Tobias Harris

PF, Detroit Pistons


Tobias Harris led the Pistons in scoring with 24 points on an efficient 9-for-13 shooting from the floor. He also led the comeback with the bench unit that came in to steal this game from the Raptors. Harris caught fire in the fourth quarter, making consecutive difficult shots when the Pistons needed momentum most.

Andre Drummond

C, Detroit Pistons


Andre Drummond was mostly ineffective on defense for most of the game, leading to his benching in favor of Aron Baynes for long stretches. Drummond finished with 10 points and 18 rebounds, including one key put-back late in the game to bring the Pistons within three points of the Raptors.

Marcus Morris

SF, Detroit Pistons


Marcus Morris had a quiet night, getting sent to the bench multiple times as the game was in the balance. Morris scored 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting from the floor. However, Morris provided size on defense against DeRozan in crunch time who had been making contested jumpers over the Pistons guards.

Ish Smith

PG, Detroit Pistons


Ish Smith provided the offensive spark the Pistons needed when Reggie Jackson and the other starters were not getting it done. Smith scored 15 points off the bench to add to his five assists and five rebounds. Smith did an excellent job controlling the pace of the game as the Pistons mounted their comeback.

Reggie Jackson

PG, Detroit Pistons


Reggie Jackson mailed in another poor performance and lost most of his minutes to Ish Smith. Jackson scored six points in 17 minutes, and did not offer much for the Pistons on defense. He did not play any of the fourth quarter in favor of Smith.

Jon Leuer

PF, Detroit Pistons


Jon Leuer was benched early and again down the stretch of the game as he provided very little energy. He had just two points in 17 minutes and gave way to Tobias Harris for most of the game.

Stanley Johnson

SF, Detroit Pistons


Stanley Johnson was a part of the bench unit that kept the Pistons in this game. Johnson scored 11 points including three 3-pointers. He has played very well the last couple of months, and is showing that he deserves this important spot in the Pistons lineup.

Aaron Baynes

C, Detroit Pistons


Aron Baynes played an important role in the Pistons bench that led the comeback. Baynes only had two points, but added seven rebounds and quality defense against the Raptors bigs. On nights where Drummond might struggle against more skilled bigs, Baynes has earned a significant amount of trust from Stan Van Gundy.

Stan Van Gundy

Head Coach, Detroit Pistons


Stan Van Gundy had to take some risks when deciding to bench most of his starters for long stretches of time. The Pistons second unit brought energy and scoring that the starters have often struggled to bring consistently. Van Gundy stuck with Ish Smith and Tobias Harris over Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer late in the fourth quarter, and it made all the difference in the game.

The Pistons will travel to Milwaukee Monday night to take on Giannis Antetoukouenmpo and the Bucks (23-30).

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