Notebook: Raptors 97, Pistons 91

Posted Dec 19, 2012 10:57 PM

Duane Watson, for

THE FACTS: The Toronto Raptors (8-19) won their fourth game in a row, defeating the Detroit Pistons (7-21) 97-91 at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. The four-game streak is their first since November 17-24, 2010 and the Raptors are 6-5 at home. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto in scoring with 23 points and Alan Anderson added 16 off the bench. Jose Calderon added a game-high 17 assists and 7 points, Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 and Ed Davis had 11 points and 9 rebounds for the Raptors, who won their second game of a back-to-back.

Despite shooting .588 for the half, the Raptors were tied at 49 with the Pistons heading into the break. Greg Monroe single-handedly kept Detroit in the game, scoring 14 of the team's 22 points in the third quarter. them in the game, only down a basket, 73-71. Toronto started the fourth quarter on a 15-6 run, with 10 of those points from Anderson, giving them their biggest lead of the game at 88-77, a lead they never surrendered, Monroe's 24 second-half points withstanding.

Even with a career-high 35 points from Monroe and 10 rebounds, 6 of which were on the offensive glass, Detroit lost their sixth game in a row. Rodney Stuckey was the only Pistons player in double figures with 13.

QUOTABLE: "There are a million different ways to win or lose a game and right now we're finding ways to win. That's the most important thing for our group, finding ways to win."
-- Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey

THE STAT: 26 assists on 35 made baskets for the Raptors shows that this team, particularly with Calderon at the helm knows how to move, and more importantly share the basketball.

TURNING POINT: With 31 seconds left in the game at 91-87, Stuckey turned over the ball on an entry pass to Monroe that was stolen by a diving Amir Johnson. Stuckey pounced on Johnson to force a jump ball, but Johnson won the ensuing tipoff and the Raptors were able to cruise to a win.

QUOTABLE II: "I've been playing with him for four years, until he gets 40 assists, then he'll surprise me. He knows how to find guys in their sweet spots and get guys going."
-- DeRozan on Calderon's playmaking ability.

HOT: Monroe was unstoppable for the Pistons, scoring at will in the paint, with 35 points for the game and 24 in the second half. He added 10 rebounds for the game with 6 on the offensive glass, there was no match up or adjustment the Raptors could make to stop him.

NOT: Pistons guard Brendan Knight struggled, shooting 1-for-10 from the field for only two points, with five assists and four rebounds and two turnovers.

BAD MOVE: The Raptors failed to box out and were ineffective keeping the Pistons off the offensive glass. In the first half Detroit had 13 offensive rebounds in comparison to the Raptors 13 total rebounds. They ended up finishing the game with 22 offensive boards and 44 in total.

NOTABLE: Calderon had nine of his game-high 17 assists in the first quarter. The Raptors have lost six of their last eight games versus Detroit, but have won the last two both at home, (103-93 on 2/22). The Pistons are now 2-13 on the road this season. The Raptors are now 4-4 in the second game of back-to-backs' this season and are 8-6 when holding opponents to under 100 points.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Friday vs. Orlando, Wednesday @ San Antonio, Friday @ New Orleans. For the Pistons; Friday vs. Washington, Saturday @ Washington and Wednesday @ Atlanta.