TORONTO, Feb. 22 (Ticker) --
The Detroit Pistons are enjoying unprecedented success on the road.
had 21 points, and Corliss Williamson
scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Detroit Pistons posted their franchise-record seventh straight road victory, an 80-72 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
After serving a one-game league suspension on Wednesday, Robinson returned Friday and tallied 16 points in the first half as Detroit built an eight-point lead. The Pistons never trailed in the second half and erased their previous record for consecutive road wins, set February 25-March 20, 1990, when Detroit was on its way to a second straight NBA title.
"We weren't focused on the record. (Pistons coach Rick Carlise) was thinking about it more," Clifford said. "We just try to come out and play good basketball each game."
NBA TV highlights from Pistons-Raptors:
"How low can you go" is the question Jerry Stackhouse has for Mo Pete.
The Raptors pulled within 67-65 with just over eight minutes to play but Williamson put home a layup to spark a decisive 11-2 run. He capped the burst with a basket with 4:20 left, giving Detroit a 78-67 advantage.
The Pistons also extended their overall winning streak to a season-high five games.
Detroit's defense proved key as they turned 21 turnovers into 20 points. The Pistons also blocked nine shots, including five by Ben Wallace
"The defensive effort was there almost the entire night," Carlisle said. "We showed grit and the toughness you need to win on the road. Corliss played great in the second half, then Cliff came in and gave us a boost and (Jerry) Stackhouse
did what Stackhouse does."
The Pistons' leading scorer, Stackhouse had just 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
led the way for Toronto with 17 points and 13 rebounds, regisitering his team-leading 22nd double-double of the season. However, the Raptors converted just 9-of-19 shots from the free-throw line and lost their seventh straight contest since scoring leader Vince Carter
went down with a left quadriceps strain.
"Guys can be out but you still have to win," said Raptors guard Dell Curry
, who scored 14 points off the bench, hitting all three of his shots from beyond the arc. "(Carter) hypothetically might be out the whole year. So you have to find a way to win."
The Raptors dropped seven straight for the first time since March 20-April 12, 1998, when they lost 13 in a row.
Meanwhile, the Pistons' win kept them in a tie atop the Central Division with the Milwaukee Bucks, who the Pistons face Sunday.
Williamson proved to be clutch down the stretch, making all six of his shots from the field in the fourth quarter. By contrast, Jerome Williams
and Eric Montross
-- who were traded in a deal for Williamson last year -- combined to go scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting in the contest.
"The shots started falling," Williamson said. "I get so anxious about coming back here and having a good game. That may be why I started off so badly."
Williamson nailed a 15-foot jumper with 9:15 remaining in the game to open a 67-58 lead for the Pistons.
However, Toronto center Michael Stewart
emphatically finished off a 7-0 burst during a 73-second span with a dunk. That allowed the Raptors, who trailed by as many as 18 in the second quarter, to close within two.
Momentum quickly swung back to Detroit on a ruling by the officials with 7:24 to go.
Initially, the Pistons were whistled for a shot-clock violation. But officials David Jones, Jason Phillips and Joe DeRosa conferred and ruled a shot by rookie Zeljko Rebraca
hit the rim.
Even though the Raptors had gathered the rebound off the shot, the officials called for a jump ball. Wallace outjumped Stewart, tipped the ball to teammate Jon Barry
and Detroit scored 11 of the next 13 points.
"Well that one play led them to a five-point run and we were only down two at the time," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "They said it hit the rim but I didn't think so. Even if it did, we still had the ball. That kicked our pants."
The Pistons embarked on a 13-2 run late in the first quarter and opened a 24-12 lead after 12 minutes. The 12 points represented a season-low for the Raptors in the opening quarter.
Detroit clinched the season series with Toronto, posting its third victory in four meetings this season.