Raptors 102, Pistons 95

A raft of reinforcements couldn’t help the Detroit Pistons end a

lengthy losing streak.

Chris Bosh had 25 points and 16 rebounds, Jarrett Jack scored 17

points and the Toronto Raptors extended their winning streak to a

season-high four games, beating the Pistons 102-95 on Sunday.

Even with Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon all

back in the lineup, the Pistons still lost their seventh straight.

Detroit has not topped 100 points in any of those defeats.

“We had our chances tonight,” Gordon said. “With all the

injuries and guys coming back, I still thought we had a chance to

win the game. We just didn’t convert on plays that we needed

to.”

Hamilton and Gordon each scored 15 and Jonas Jerebko and Rodney

Stuckey both had 14 for the Pistons. Ben Wallace had 10 points and

nine rebounds.

Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 14 for

the Raptors, who improved to 12-0 when holding opponents below 100

points.

It’s the first time that Toronto has won three games over the

Pistons in a season in the team’s 15-year history. The Raptors beat

the Pistons 110-99 in Toronto on Nov. 4.

Hamilton, who had missed 26 of the previous 28 games with a sore

right hamstring, and Prince, out since Oct. 31 with a sore back,

each started for just the fourth time this season. Gordon, out

since Dec. 6 with a sore left ankle, came off the bench for

Detroit.

All three returnees felt fine afterward, but faced some

struggles, too. Hamilton shot 6 for 20 and Gordon went 4 for

15.

“You can do as many drills as you want but if you’re not

practicing and you’re not playing, it’s going to be a little

different when you get out there on the floor,” Gordon said.

Hamilton said adjusting to the speed of the game was

particularly difficult on the defensive end.

“Sometimes when you haven’t been out there in so long, you get

out there and it seems like everybody is so fast,” Hamilton said.

“Sometimes your feet are fast and your hands are slow. It’s a lot

of stuff.”

That showed in the first half, as the Raptors, fresh off a 94-64

victory in Detroit on Wednesday, roared out to a 60-41 lead at the

break.

“I know how it is coming back from injury,” Bosh said.

“You’re not going to be the same in your first game back, that’s

how it is. We were trying to go up and down, we had to make them

defend, put them in tough situations and make them move their

feet.”

Once the Pistons get comfortable, however, they clawed their way

back, outscoring Toronto 28-14 in the third to set up a tense final

quarter.

The Pistons trailed 74-69 heading to start the fourth before

Prince made it 85-84 on a turnaround jumper with 5:47 left. Detroit

got the ball back after an offensive foul by Bosh, but Stuckey and

Jerebko both missed jumpers.

At the other end, Bargnani converted a three-point play, with

Jerebko fouling out. Gordon missed a jumper and Bargnani scored

again, making it 90-84 with 4:00 remaining.

Two free throws from Gordon made it 95-91 with 33 seconds left

but Jack went 4 for 4 at the line in the closing seconds to seal

the win.

With the team finally at full strength, Hamilton said the

Pistons feel as if they’re getting a fresh start.

“It’s kind of like, ‘OK, now the regular season is starting

again,”’ he said. “Guys are really trying to find their

rhythm.”

Toronto used an 11-2 run to lead 29-22 after one, with no

Pistons player making more than one field goal in the opening

quarter and the team’s first seven baskets each scored by a

different player.

Detroit continued to shoot poorly in the second, finishing at 33

percent (14 for 43) in the first half while Toronto shot 62 percent

(21 for 34). Bosh scored 11 points in the second and had 19 at the

half as the Raptors led 60-41.

Toronto went cold in the third, making just 4 of 14 field goals

and going 4 for 9 at the line as Detroit surged back, shooting 11

for 19 in the quarter. Jerebko scored 10 points in the third as the

Pistons cut it to 74-69 heading into the fourth.

Notes: Stuckey scored a layup in the first that bounced in off

the top of the backboard. … Hamilton received a technical foul

for arguing in the second and Gordon got one for arguing in the

third. … Toronto’s Marco Belinelli fouled out for the first time

in his career. … At 2:49, it was the longest non-overtime game in

Raptors history. … Rapper Drake attended the game.