Unfazed by Drummond's improbable 71-foot 3-pointer at the end of the
third quarter, the Raptors outscored the Pistons 29-13 during the
next 8:34 and pulled away to a 103-89 victory Monday at The Palace.
That's the kind of confidence and poise that has allowed the Raptors
to win 14 of their last 15 while taking over the second spot in the
"We're just all growing up. We're learning how to win at all times,
in any situation," said the Raptors' All-Star point guard Kyle
Lowry, who led the way with 25 points and seven assists.
"That's why we've gotten into this little streak, into a rhythm,
because we know what we need to do."
Small forward Terrence Ross scored 18 points off the bench for
Toronto (35-16), while Lowry's backcourt partner, shooting guard
DeMar DeRozan, added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Reserve point guard Cory Joseph supplied 15 points, four rebounds
and three assists and center Jonas Valanciunas contributed 15 points
and eight rebounds for the Raptors.
The All-Star hosts have one more game remaining before the break, a
road game at Minnesota on Wednesday.
"Like I just told them, the All-Star break doesn't start until
Thursday. Let's don't start it (Tuesday)," Toronto coach Dwane Casey
"Let's come in, watch this film and continue the journey. It's about
not getting caught up in the hype and whatever is being said.
There's still a lot of growth to be had."
Lowry is doing whatever is necessary to keep his team rolling. He
tied a career high with seven 3-pointers against Portland in
Toronto's previous game. On Monday, he shot 9 for 14 from the field
and held Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson to 13 points with six
"He's playing like a true All-Star," Casey said. "We go the way he
goes. His energy level, his physical play, his toughness -- guys
feed off of that.
"So we've got to continue to feed off him and take his lead but, as
the season goes on, make sure we ramp his minutes back."
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Power forward Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and six rebounds for the
Pistons (27-26), who have lost five of their last seven. Small
forward Marcus Morris had 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and
three steals for Detroit. Drummond, the Pistons' center and All-Star
representative, added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Raptors scored 22 points off of Detroit's 16 turnovers and shot
55.7 percent from the field.
"The turnovers hurt us and we had some defensive breakdowns but I
thought we competed real hard," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said.
"I didn't think we made an inordinate amount of mistakes,
particularly on the defensive end. What happened is every mistake we
made on both ends, they made us pay for it."
Morris was the Pistons' best all-around player -- he hounded DeRozan
most of the way -- but only squeezed off seven shots.
"They did two things," Van Gundy said. "They really loaded up on
Reggie's pick-and-rolls and forced him into a lot of turnovers. I
thought he was forcing the issue a little too much.
"And they came and doubled all of Marcus' postups. Their game plan
was good and their execution of it was good."
Detroit's euphoria didn't last long after Drummond's fling cut
Toronto's lead to 70-65. The Raptors opened the fourth quarter with
an 11-2 run, capped by 3-pointers from Lowry and reserve power
forward Patrick Patterson, to make it 81-67.
Toronto gradually built the lead to 21 while securing its second win
over Detroit in the last two weeks.
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
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