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Stay Positive: Raptors Fend Off Pistons to Win 114-110

Despite some close calls against the Pistons, there were a lot of positive signs in the Raptors' 114-110 win over Detroit.

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Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

We were all ready to call this the D.J. Augustin Revenge Game. That's where the collective spirit of Raptors fans is at these days. After Detroit won the last meeting in Toronto, we knew the Raptors could not just ease into this one. But Brandon Jennings, the TO Annihilator, was out. Surely we don't have to be pessimistic all the time, do we?

Of course not (and don't call me Shirley). The Raptors won 114-110 tonight and you know what, let's run through some positives:

  • Jonas Valanciunas went for 20 points (on 9-of-15 shooting) with 11 rebounds. He didn't play much in the fourth quarter (big surprise) but it can be chalked up to foul trouble. Yeah, foul trouble!
  • Lou Williams passed up a shot at the end of the third quarter. The ball actually zipped around the court to an open Terrence Ross in the corner. (He missed, but still!)
  • DeMar DeRozan put down 25 points (on 8-of-14 shooting) and got to the line 10 times (he hit eight of them). For those of us worried about DeRozan, maybe he's... OK?
  • Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez had eight and seven assists, respectively. The Raps had 23 assists as a team, which is two more than their season average so, hey, upward trend.
  • And look at that, the Raptors scored over 100 points so Stan Van Gundy can get a free slice.

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But, hold on. There were some negatives too. Grit your teeth and join me now as we discuss:

  • First up: what the hell got into D.J. Augustin? 35 points, 12-of-20 shooting, eight assists. This is a guy the Raptors let go for nothing. Wow.
  • On that note, should we be worried about Lowry? Did the endless #NBABallot brouhaha tucker him out somehow? He scored only 11 points and, well, didn't have the best of times trying to keep Augustin from scoring.
  • I do not like the outright benching of James Johnson. Feels very undeserved, even if the benefit is a rejuvenated Terrence Ross off the bench.
  • And good God, did the Raptors almost give this game away? They were outscored by just six points in the fourth quarter, but man, it felt like the Pistons were going to figure out a way to creep back in. Fun times.

Still, the game went as it went and the Raptors did enough to win 114-110. We're going to stay positive. That's two in a row. Onward to the next one.

What did you guys think?

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