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
Hamilton and Gordon each scored 15 and Jonas Jerebko and Rodney
Stuckey both had 14 for the Pistons. Ben Wallace had 10 points and
Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 14 for
the Raptors, who improved to 12-0 when holding opponents below 100
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
All three returnees felt fine afterward, but faced some
struggles, too. Hamilton shot 6 for 20 and Gordon went 4 for
“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
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
“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
Once the Pistons get comfortable, however, they clawed their way
back, outscoring Toronto 28-14 in the third to set up a tense final
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
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
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
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.