The Toronto Raptors, mired in the longest road losing streak in franchise history, have only beaten five teams away from home this season.
The Detroit Pistons are one of them.
Seeking their first road win in more than two months, the Raptors will try for a fourth consecutive victory at The Palace of Auburn Hills when they conclude their season series with the Pistons on Wednesday night.
After defeating Indiana 108-98 on Friday night to snap a three-game skid, the Raptors fell 95-90 to Charlotte on Sunday – their 24th loss in 29 games.
That contest capped a three-game homestand, and now Toronto (18-48) must play six of seven on the road.
The Raptors have lost all 13 of their games away from home – by an average of 13.7 points – since a 120-105 win at Cleveland on Jan. 5.
They matched the longest road skid in franchise history at 11 with a loss to the Bobcats on Feb. 22, and set a new record after falling to New Jersey on March 4 and 5 in London.
Toronto also made history Dec. 11 when it overcame a 31-point deficit to win 120-116 in Detroit, its largest come-from-behind victory of all-time.
That’s one of only five wins in 31 games away from home for the Raptors, who rank near the bottom of the league in opponents’ field-goal percentage on the road at 49.1.
Toronto, though, has won three straight at Detroit – currently tied for its second-longest road win streak against any opponent – but had a combined 36 turnovers in the last two meetings and lost both.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has a 9.4 career scoring average versus the Pistons – his lowest against any Eastern Conference opponent – and he’s been struggling. He had 30 points in both games in London but has since averaged 14.7 on 35.7 percent shooting with 10 turnovers in three games.
“I think he’s trying too hard and he’s trying to be aggressive and sometimes he gets a little bit too ambitious with the basketball,” coach Jay Triano said.
“The kid’s gonna have games where he’s putting it on himself and putting it on his shoulders and trying to score a little bit, and unfortunately he hasn’t played that well.”
DeRozan could bounce back against a Detroit team struggling on defense, allowing an average of 109.2 points in its last 11 games – 8.8 more than its season mark. The Pistons are 3-28 when allowing at least 100 points in games that didn’t go to overtime.
The Pistons (23-44) are coming off a game in which they gave up their highest point total of the season, losing 131-101 at Denver on Saturday night.
Detroit was outscored by 24 in the second half en route to its third straight loss and most lopsided of the season.
“I mean when is enough enough? You go out there and play like that, and let them pretty much put the embarrassment quotation on it,” Tayshaun Prince said.
Richard Hamilton, averaging 18.3 points in his last three contests, scored a season-best 35 with six 3-pointers the last time he faced Toronto – a 115-93 win Dec. 22.
Tracy McGrady, who spent his first three seasons with the Raptors, is averaging 23.9 points against his former team – his second-most against any opponent. He had 22 on Jan. 14 as the Pistons won 101-95.
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