They outscored the Detroit Pistons 34-20 in the third quarter and
ran away with a 112-91 victory on Wednesday to snap a two-game
"We started off terrible, we didn't have our legs under us," said
guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second
half. "We just told ourselves that we can't have any excuses. We had
to pick it up and we came out in the second half and picked it up."
Guard Kyle Lowry had 21 points and nine assists to lead the Raptors
(17-17), who were coming off road losses to the Indiana Pacers on
Tuesday and to the Miami Heat on Sunday that ended a five-game
Failures in the second half are not new to the Pistons (14-22), who
have lost six in a row.
"I think we come out flat and we kind of get into a hole," said
Pistons forward Greg Monroe, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds. "We
have to try to find a way to come out (and) take control of those
third quarters. I mean, the confidence is still there. Of course
guys are upset, they're made. We know we should be winning more
games so we have to continue to work together to try and win more
Guard-forward Terrence Ross added 17 points for the Raptors while
center Jonas Valanciunas contributed 16 points with 11 rebounds and
forward Amir Johnson scored 10 points and grabbed 11 boards.
The Raptors play four of their next five games at home. "We've got
to starting taking advantage of these home games and pulling them
out easily," DeRozan said. "That's going to help us a lot in the
Guard Brandon Jennings scored 22 points and added nine assists to
lead the Pistons, who lost their sixth game in a row.
"Our defensive intensity is what changed the game in the second
half," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Guard Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 14 points for the
Pistons while forwards Josh Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added
13 each. Center Andre Drummond had 16 rebounds and six points.
"Early on we got a lot of early baskets and that's pushing the ball
up, not necessarily the first guy shooting but the second guy
shooting," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "But we didn't get a
lot of them in the second half. When you don't get a lot of stops,
you're not going to get a lot of early baskets. We just didn't get
as many stops in the second half. We just have to do a better job
defending. When you're losing five or six in a row like that, it's a
lot of things, not just one thing."
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DeRozan made both of his first-half points on free throws and
finished the game 13-for-16 from the line. He was 0-for-9 from
the field in the first half and 3-for-15 on the game.
"He was missing good looks," Casey said. "So he did a good job
of taking what the defense gave him. He knew his jump wasn't
falling and they were crowding him so he did a good job of
attacking the D and taking contact."
"I was more aggressive," DeRozan said.
The Raptors scored the first four points of the fourth quarter
to lead by 14 points. Jennings brought the Pistons to within 10
points with a driving jumper with seven minutes to play. But
when Lowry and Johnson each made two free throws, the Raptors
led 102-84 with 5:20 to play, their largest lead of the game to
Jennings responded with a 3-pointer but Lowry came back with a 3
to restore the 18-point lead.
Down by four at the half, the Raptors scored the first eight
points of the second half led by two 3-pointers by Ross. When
Lowry made a 3-pointer with 7:02 left in the third quarter, the
Raptors led 67-58. The Raptors led by 13 after Johnson's
put-back dunk with 57.9 seconds to play in the third. Toronto
led 84-74 after three quarters.
The Raptors had an 11-point lead with 8:36 to play in the second
quarter before the Pistons went on a 14-0 run to take a 42-39
lead with 4:51 left in the half. Led by 13 points from
Caldwell-Pope, Detroit led 54-50 at halftime.
Ross was 3-for-6 from 3-point range and scored 11 points to lead
the Raptors to a 26-25 first-quarter advantage.
NOTES: Raptors F Tyler Hansbrough (left ankle sprain) missed his
fourth consecutive game. ... Pistons G Rodney Stuckey (sore
right shoulder) dressed Wednesday after missing the previous
three games. ... After five wins in a row, the Raptors lost
tough road games to the two best teams in the Eastern
Conference, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. "The last two
games should tell us just how far we have to go," Raptors coach
Dwane Casey said before Wednesday's game. ... Pistons G Brandon
Jennings entered Wednesday with a total of nine points in his
two previous games. He shot 4-for-26 from the field in that
span, including 1-for-12 on 3-point attempts.
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