Raptors Blow Lead But Still Beat Pistons 116-107
By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – DeMar DeRozan scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and the Toronto Raptors tied a franchise record for victories with a 116-107 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
The Raptors (47-33) had already clinched the Atlantic Division, and the victory over Detroit was their 10th in 14 games. Toronto has now reached the 47-win mark for the third time. The Raptors went 47-35 in 2001 and 2007.
Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto before fouling out with 5:51 remaining.
Andre Drummond had 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons in the final home game of their dismal season. Detroit’s Josh Smith missed a fourth straight game with tendinitis in his left knee.
Detroit trailed by as many as 18 in the first half but rallied to take the lead late in the third quarter. But no matter what the Pistons did, DeRozan always seemed to have an answer in the fourth.
DeRozan’s three-point play put the Raptors ahead 97-95 and started an 11-2 run. His emphatic, right-handed dunk made it 107-99 and thrilled the vocal contingent of Toronto fans who were in attendance.
The Raptors shot 74 percent from the field during a brilliant first quarter and looked headed for a blowout. A three-point play by Terrence Ross put Toronto up 20-5, and an alley-oop to DeRozan made it 28-12.
It was 42-26 at the end of the quarter, and DeRozan’s four-point play early in the second made it 46-28.
The Pistons trailed 63-49 at halftime but made a game of it by outscoring Toronto 37-24 in the third. Detroit dominated the boards, finishing with 21 offensive rebounds. Greg Monroe had 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Lowry picked up his fifth foul with 6:11 remaining, then fouled out 20 seconds later going after a rebound on a missed shot by DeRozan. The Pistons couldn’t take advantage, though.
After a free throw by Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to two, Jonas Valanciunas answered with a free throw and Ross made a 3-pointer for the Raptors. A layup by Patrick Patterson made it 105-97.
NOTES: Detroit’s Tony Mitchell had four fouls in 6:16 of playing time in the first quarter. Then he didn’t play again until the final minute of the fourth. … The Pistons weren’t thrilled with the officiating early. Monroe was called for a technical foul in the first, and Detroit was charged with one in the second. … Toronto has scored at least 100 points in six straight games.
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