|Date of game: 3/12/2014
Recap: Toronto vs. Detroit
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors got back on track by posting a 101-87 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons behind 25 points from the All-Star guard.
Amir Johnson compiled 20 points and nine rebounds to help the Raptors bounce back from Tuesday's loss at division-rival Brooklyn, during which DeRozan was held to 14 points. Kyle Lowry chipped in 19 points and six assists in the current Atlantic leaders' fourth win in five games.
"We didn't shoot the ball that well, but pretty or not pretty, it's a win for us, much needed," Raptors point guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We're playing good basketball. I think over the last two or three weeks we have been playing good basketball."
The fading Pistons were dealt a 10th straight road loss despite Brandon Jennings' 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Andre Drummond finished with 16 points for Detroit, while Greg Monroe recorded 13 along with 10 rebounds.
Toronto set the tone early in a contest it nearly led the entire way, hitting five of its first seven field goal attempts while putting forth a 14-3 run after Monroe scored the game's initial basket. A 7-2 spurt, which began with a deep three from Lowry, later in the opening quarter had Toronto up by a 29-15 count with under two minutes to go in the frame.
Detroit responded by ripping off 14 consecutive points to draw even, but the Raptors countered with a 10-2 surge and took a 39-31 lead following Steve Novak's trey midway through the second quarter.
Toronto went into the break owning a 52-45 advantage, then extended the margin with a strong start to the second half. A pair of buckets from Johnson and another Lowry three highlighted an 11-0 sequence that staked the Raptors to their largest lead of the night, a 65-47 cushion with 7:40 left in the third quarter.
The Pistons were able to close the gap prior to the expiration of the period, though, coming through with a 14-2 burst to finish out the stanza. Jennings ripped off 10 points in the last three minutes, including back-to-back treys that brought Detroit within 74-69 entering the fourth.
The momentum was short-lived, however, as Toronto opened the final session on a 9-0 run to create some distance and carried a double-digit differential for the majority of the game's duration.
"We had momentum going into the fourth quarter, but we missed a few shots at the rim early and they made a couple of shots," said Monroe. "We hit a cold spell, missed some chippies in the beginning of the quarter right at the rim."Game Notes
Toronto outrebounded the Pistons by a 54-39 count, leading to a 22-10
advantage in second-chance points. Jonas Valanciunas topped the Raptors with
13 boards ... Detroit's road skid is its longest since an 11-game slide from
Feb. 23-Apr. 5, 2011 ... The Raptors improved to 15-4 in their last 19 outings
at Air Canada Centre ... Toronto forward Patrick Patterson missed a third
straight game with a sprained right elbow.