The Detroit Pistons (24-44) ended their three game losing streak tonight by defeating the Toronto Raptors (18-49) 107-93. Toronto extended their road losing streak to 14 games and tonight was a good indicator as to why. The Pistons had three players score over twenty points and shot lights out for most of the game. Richard Hamilton led the way for the Pistons with 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting, while Andrea Bargnani scored 20 points on 8 of 20 shooting for Toronto. The Pistons were all over the Raptors from start to finish and outside of the opening bucket by the Raptors, never trailed in the game.
The Pistons, coming off their worst defeat of the year, came out hungry and jumped all over the Raptors shooting 61 percent from the field in the first quarter and 75 percent from behind the arc to take a 14 point lead into the second quarter, 38-24. The Pistons were fueled by Richard Hamilton’s 10 points and made this game look very easy as they scored at will on the helpless Raptors as they continually drove to the rim getting easy buckets. The Raptors started out the second quarter much like the first, as they fell behind 51-31 at the 7:56 mark when Ben Gordon made a 3 pointer. The game was getting out of hand quick, but the Raptors cut the lead down to 11 at halftime, behind Leandro Barbosa and Andrea Bargnani, as they scored 15 of Toronto’s final 21 points in the half. The star of the first half for Detroit was Tayshaun Prince as he scored 14 points on lights out shooting, Richard Hamilton and Greg Monroe were also in double digits at halftime as well.
The second half started out well for Toronto as they cut the lead to six after James Johnson drove to the basket for a lay-up and was fouled, he made the ensuing free throw to complete the three point play and the score sat at 70-64. This was beginning to look like the last meeting between the two teams at the Palace, when Detroit blew a 25 point lead. This is where Detroit really showed me something, as Greg Monroe and Tayshaun Prince scored the next 8 points for the Pistons, concluded by Greg Monroe throwing it down. Toronto promptly called a timeout and the Palace started to show some life. The rest of the quarter was very sloppy; bad passes seemed to be a hot commodity and lazy defense looked like a requirement. Easy lay-up after easy lay-up was given and this is where the Pistons look so different. Anyone remember an easy lay-up being scored by the opposition in 2004? The Pistons closed out the quarter with an 11 point lead and were still shooting 60%, crazy!
The fourth quarter had cause for concern as the Pistons allowed the Raptors to go on a 8-1 run and cut the lead down to 5 points, the closest it had been since the first quarter. The official timeout couldn’t have come at a better time. After the timeout, the Pistons woke up and refused to let this game go as they scored 5 quick points and extended the lead back to double digits. Toronto never threatened again.
The trio of Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Greg Monroe scored 24, 22 and 21 points respectively and were responsible for all 24 points in the third quarter. The unsung hero tonight was Rodney Stuckey as he dished out 14 assists in only 27 minutes of action. He actually gave me hope for the future, as we all want to see our point guard distributing the ball to the scorers. The main concern with this team is their defense, they don’t have the desire to play hard defense in which we have grown accustomed to seeing in Detroit. The end of the third quarter was a great example as we all saw Toronto score lay up after lay up, seemingly uncontested. This is a major concern for the team moving forward as they need to regain their defensive mindset before anything else can be addressed.
That being said, tonight was a good night and the potent offense was nice to see. We always like to see multiple players scoring lots of points, especially while shooting at a high percentage. Good news is Indiana lost and we now only sit 5 games back of the final playoff spot…keep the faith!
About the Author
Written by Colton Turnquist
I have been an avid sports fan my entire life and even pursued a professional sports career in golf. I played professionally for three and half years trying to make it on the PGA Tour, but never broke through. I want to stay involved with sports and what better way than writing about them!