The Toronto Raptors got back in the win column tonight thanks to a visit from the Detroit Pistons. That in itself didn't make it an automatic win for the Dinos, but it certainly helped their cause. The Raps were down 54 to 50 at the half but stormed back in the second portion of the game, outscoring the Pistons 62 to 37 en route to a 112 to 91 win.
Kyle Lowry led the Raps with 21 points (he also had 9 assists) and all five starters scored in double figures. It was a grind for a few of these players though in terms of shot-making however as the team shot only 41 per cent, but got a big boost from long range. The Dinos took 31 three-pointers and made 11 of them which not only helped to keep things close in the first half, but served to demoralize the Pistons, who fired back with brick, after brick, after brick, after...
In all seriousness, the Detroit Pistons didn't exactly help themselves out in this one. They out-worked Toronto in the first half and behind a lethal early dose of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, jumped out to the early lead, but in the second half put on one of the worst displays of basketball aesthetics of the season taking ill-advised shot after shot, and failing to run much of anything resembling an offence. Brandon Jennings put on a vintage performance with 22 points but it took him 19 shots to get those numbers.
Even more puzzling, the Pistons rarely tried to use their interior size as an advantage and Andre Drummond, despite pulling down 16 rebounds, had only six points. He was also a nice -24 on the night and a sieve defensively as Jonas Valanciunas repeatedly drove around him for easy dunks.
Game MVP is shared in fact between Big Val and Kyle Lowry in this one, and despite an awful shooting night (3 of 15) DeMar DeRozan gets some props for continuously driving to the hoop. He finished with 19 points thanks to a 13 of 16 performance from the free-throw line.
LVP goes to Joe Dumars who assembled Toronto's opponent tonight. The pieces just don't fit, and there's not much basketball IQ on the squad. The Raptors to their credit took advantage of this in the second half, and rolled to the W.
Up next...DRAKE NIGHT...but without Drake as the now .500 Raptors host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.