IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry had 21 points and nine assists, Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors beat Detroit 112-91 Wednesday night to hand the slumping Pistons their sixth consecutive loss.
DeMar DeRozan shook off a slow start to finish with 19 points and Terrence Ross had 17 for the Raptors, who went 31 for 34 from the free throw line to snap a two-game skid and win for the sixth time in eight games.
Amir Johnson had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto, which leads the Atlantic Division.
Brandon Jennings had 22 points and Rodney Stuckey returned after missing the previous three games with a sore right shoulder to score 14 for Detroit, which has not won since a 115-92 victory at Cleveland on Dec. 23. The Pistons have dropped eight of nine overall.
Josh Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 apiece for the Pistons, while Greg Monroe added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
DeRozan had nine points in a fourth quarter in which Toronto led by double digits throughout.
Monroe scored eight points in the first quarter and Caldwell-Pope and Smith each had six, but Ross scored 11 to give Toronto a 26-25 edge after one.
Caldwell-Pope and Jennings each had seven in the second as the Pistons answered a 13-2 Toronto run with a 14-0 spurt of their own to lead 54-50 at halftime.
The Raptors shot just 6 for 23 from the field in the second and 16 for 48 in the opening half, numbers that were dragged down by DeRozan (0 for 9) and Amir Johnson (0 for 7).
Things went better for Toronto in the third. Ross sandwiched 3’s around a layup by DeRozan as the Raptors took the lead by opening the quarter with an 8-0 run. Valanciunas scored eight points in the third, including three huge dunks, and DeRozan also had eight, as Toronto took an 84-74 lead into the fourth. Ross and Lowry both scored six for the Raptors, who shot 11 for 22 in the third and outscored Detroit 34-20.
NOTES: Raptors F Tyler Hansbrough (left ankle) missed his fourth straight game. … Detroit G Chauncey Billups got the night off after playing eight minutes in Tuesday’s loss at New York. … Andre Drummond had 16 rebounds for the Pistons. … Detroit made 19 of 35 free throw attempts. … Toronto began a stretch that sees them play five of six at home.
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