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Revved Up Raps Keep Playoff Hopes Alive In Motor City
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BOX 

SCORE RECAP PHOTOS VIDEOS
FINAL SCORE
Raptors 111 97 Pistons
Jay Satur
April 12, 2010
Palace Of Auburn Hills
Detroit, MI
IT WAS OVER WHEN...

After two straight rough second quarters, the Raptors responded at the Palace on Monday and seized control of a game they needed not only for their playoff hopes, but for their collective mindset as losers of five straight.

A pair of Rodney Stuckey free throws cut the Toronto advantage to 31-30 two minutes into the quarter, but the Raptors continued to share the ball beautifully and went on an 18-4 run over the next 5:17 to build a lead that wouldn't really be threatened the rest of the way.

THE GAME CHANGER

Andrea Bargnani was locked in on Monday, finishing with 33 points (13-22 FGM-A), with five three-pointers and seven rebounds. Bargnani's hot shooting also stretched the Pistons' defence and gave Amir Johnson plenty of room to operate near the basket on his way to a career-high 26 points.

"We tried to go inside to Andrea (Bargnani) as much as we could and we thought that he had a bit of a mismatch out there and then they switched and when they put a bigger guy on him we took him outside," said Jay Triano.

THE UNDERRATED RAPTOR

That Raptors used a season-high 37 assists to fuel their offensive fireworks against the Pistons, which was a far cry from the lack of ball movement on Sunday night.

Leading the way on Monday was the point guard tandem of Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack, who combined four 23 of those helpers and an assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly six-to-one. Calderon dished out eleven assists and had zero turnovers, while Jack came off the bench to add more scoring (15 points) and one more dime with 12, but turned it over four times.

THAT'S A RAP

"I think that for the most part tonight I was very pleased. I thought that our coverage was very solid, we had a couple of lapses once and awhile, but for the most part we were able to score and get stops when we had to. We challenged and made sure they had tough looks."

- Jay Triano on the Raptors' effort.

3-GAME OUTLOOK

Wed., Apr. 14 vs. Knicks
8:00 PM ET (the Score, FAN590)

GAME NOTES:
The Raptors have played some of their best and worst basketball of the campaign in their last two games, so who knows what team shows up when they face another 'must win' game in the regular season finale. If Chicago loses to Boston on Tuesday, the Raptors will regain control of their own playoff destiny and can get in with a win. If the Bulls beat the Celtics, Toronto needs a win and a Chicago loss to Charlotte on Wednesday.

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The Numbers
.5 Bulls lead over the Raptors for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference
60 Raps' overall shooting percentage (45-75 FGM-A) and percentage from beyond the arc (9-15 3 PT FGM-A)
37 Assists for the Raptors, a season high
40:13 Minutes played by Sonny Weems, who left the game late in the fourth after hurting his ankle
26 Career-high point total for former Piston Amir Johnson
They Said It...
Jay Triano "I didn't get that memo... at all. Hopefully he didn't send that out to many people. Hopefully he can retract that one."- Jarrett Jack on Charlie Villanueva's guarantee of a Pistons victory via Twitter.
JOHN KUESTER "This is one of the greatest basketball towns in the world, as far as I’m concerned, because they understand basketball. They pull for you. They want you to do well. They aren’t in this to all of a sudden to say, ‘oh well you guys are down.’ They were cheering until the very end. That’s why I give them a lot of credit. " - Pistons head coach John Kuester, on fans at The Palace.
amir johnson "I wasn't really concerned about a career high too much. I was just concerned about the win. We've just got to pray on Boston now to beat Chicago." - Amir Johnson after scoring a career-high 26 points.