That one wasn't pretty, but a win is a win.
In the same way that the Dinos ended up on the losing end of some bad ones earlier in the year, tonight they took advantage of a Detroit team that couldn't get anything going offensively beyond Greg Monroe, and eked out a 97 to 91 win.
The Raps got solid scoring production from DeMar DeRozan, who dropped in 23 points on 10 of 19 shooting, but aside from some late hot shooting from Mr. Glue Guy, Alan Anderson, points were hard to be found, and the Raptors repeatedly settled for long-range bombs in the fourth quarter.
However the Pistons weren't much better. Monroe, as noted, was a beast, with 35 points and 10 rebounds, and simply abused Toronto's post-players all night. But only Rodney Stuckey broke double-digit scoring outside of Monroe, and the club shot 42 per cent on the evening. If it wasn't for Detroit's massive advantage on the glass (the team had 22 offensive rebounds whereas the Dinos notched only 33 rebounds, TOTAL) this one probably would have been over much earlier.
Raptors MVP: Jose Calderon
Tough call again as Jose only had seven points on the night. But he hit a big shot late, and his incredible 17 assist performance set the tone early, and gave the Dinos enough fuel to get to the finish line. DeRozan's scoring was big early, and as noted, Alan Anderson hit some huge shots late too. But overall, I'm giving the nod to Jose here.
Raptors LVP: Linas Kleiza
Aaaah the chucker. 1 for 6 on the night and not much of anything else. Casey went to him late instead of Ed Davis in hopes of spurring the team's O, but all Kleiza did was hoist away to no avail.
Comment of the Night: Via BP
Great job again Linas, taking a shot with 7 or so seconds left on the shot clock leading to a Detroit basket. If Linas can get time, Fields HAS to be able to...
(Yes, this was basically a summation of Kleiza's play tonight.)
Best & Worst Leo/Matt Quotes
Leo, addressing Matt's sudden affinity for hockey: "You've just become a hockey monster, overnight!"
"You've become a hockey madman!"
Most bizarre moment:
Leo, randomly going on a tirade late in the game regarding players who won't come to the ball on inbounds plays, and how Alan Anderson is one of the few players who will:
"You see a lot of players that make it LOOK like they couldn't get the ball because they didn't really WANT it."
"He (Alan Anderson) wants it."
We'll be back Friday for what's now a marquee match between the Raptors and Magic, two of the hottest teams in the East suddenly!