Jay Satur December 27, 2009
Air Canada Centre
This was a wild game that fluctuated from Raptors blowout to big Pistons comeback before the home side dug deep when it counted to win a fourth straight game.
Detroit was right there with two minutes to play and down 90-87. But Chris Bosh hit two free throws and Hedo Turkoglu followed with a pretty feed to a cutting Sonny Weems for the flush and a 94-87 lead. The Pistons wouldn't get closer than four points from there. It was a near collapse against a Pistons team that had some rusty players returning from injury, but full marks for the way the Raptors closed it out.
Chris Bosh said before Sunday's game that his holiday break was strictly about recharging away from the court and the rest appeared to have paid off. Bosh finished with game-highs in points (25) rebounds (16) giving him his 23rd double-double of the season. He also added three blocks.
He did most of his damage in the first half but was even better late. Bosh pulled down six of his rebounds in the final frame and scored six points, four of which came at the line in the final 1:39.
There's something about the Pistons that seems to agree with Andrea Bargnani. In three games against Detroit this season (all wins), Bargnani is averaging 19.3 points per game, while shooting just under 56 per cent.
The scoring was down a little with 16 points, but like Bosh he got better as the game went on. Bargnani added six rebounds and two blocks and turned in one of his better performances of the season on the defensive end.
Make it four straight wins overall for the Raptors, which sets a modest season-high. Their last streak this long was six straight wins from March 22 - April 4 of last season.
This is obviously a more significant run given the Raptors current place in the conference standings and two of those wins have come at the expense of a team that's historically owned them. Toronto is now 3-0 against Detroit this season to ensure their first season series win ever. The Raptors try for the season sweep in Auburn Hills on April 12 .
"We knew they were going to come back. I think we settled for jump shots. It is something we have a habit of doing. When we do that and miss them they get longer rebounds, which leads to run outs and sometimes miss matches at the other end and they started making some shots. We know they have some talent and they started making shots in the second half. As a result they climbed back into the game."
Wed., Dec. 30 vs.
Charlotte 7:00 PM ET (TSN2, FAN 590)
The Raptors began spiraling to a low point of the season when they fell 116-81 to the Bobcats on Nov. 26. Now they'll get them at home while riding a season-high four-game winning streak. Despite their 11-17 mark entering Sunday, Charlotte is among a sizable group of sub-.500 Eastern Conference teams that can still realistically think playoffs. But December has been one cold month for the Bobcats away from Time Warner Cable Arena, as they've dropped all six of their road games this month.
Length of Sunday's game, making it the longest non-overtime game in franchise history
The Raptors' record when they hold opponents to under 100 points
The Raptors' record when they lead by at least four points by halftime
Offensive rebounding totals favouring the Pistons
Points in the paint favouring the Raptors
"We got off to an early lead because we were doing all the little things, rebounding, boxing out, taking good shots and taking care of the basketball. All those things I mentioned, went away in the third quarter."- Jarrett Jack on the Raptors in the third quarter.
"We have been playing teams that are struggling and we have been taking advantage of the opportunities that we have had. We just have to keep going and hopefully it will build us some confidence and get guys involved." - Chris Bosh, on his team's recent run.
"I thought we settled down in the third period where we did a great job defensively holding a team like that to 14 points, not giving them second chance opportunities and putting ourselves within striking distance and that was something that I thought our guys battled back and worked real well in the second half." - Pistons head coach John Kuester on his team's comeback.
9.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.5 APG
Notes: Another solid outing for Jarrett Jack, who finished with 17 points (5-9 FGM-A) with five assists in his tenth start of the season. He connected just once in four attempts from behind the line, but went a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.7 APG
Notes: Rookie Jonas Jerebko continues to get better each time he faces Toronto this season. On Sunday he scored 14 points (including two treys) and added seven rebounds (six offensive), two steals and a block before fouling out late.