Toronto's last lead came after Jose Calderon drilled a three-pointer to put the Raptors up 33-32 with 7:18 to play in the second quarter. The Raptors then turned it over on four consecutive possessions (part of their season-high 24 giveaways) to help the Pistons to a very quick 10-0 run and then the wheels fell off.
Porous Raptors defence and more unforced turnovers allowed the Pistons to finish the half with a 20-11 flurry and an 18-point lead. Given the Raptors' plethora of injuries to key personnel, another epic comeback just wasn't in the cards.
It was turn back the clock night as former Raptors Charlie Villanueva and Tracy McGrady had big games on Wednesday. But it was embattled Pistons guard Rip Hamilton who turned in the best vintage performance of the night with a game-high 35 points on 13-of-20 shooting.
After being pulled from the starting lineup recently in favour of Ben Gordon, much has been made publicly of Hamilton's reaction and after a one-game absence, consider Wednesday his response. "Tonight I just wanted to make a statement with all of the stuff talked about," said Hamilton. "I just wanted to come out and make a statement."
It was a different role for Leandro Barbosa, who became the primary backup to Jose Calderon with Jerryd Bayless out due to food poisoning, but he continued to provide a big boost of the bench. Barbosa scored 21 points on seven-of-12 shooting with four assists in just under 26 minutes.
Wednesday was his fourth 20+ point scoring effort in his last seven games off the bench and outside of Linas Kleiza, he was the only Raptor who really had it going -- especially in the fourth quarter -- in the midst of a blowout.
"I don’t know because last time we played them we only turned the ball over two times in the second half. I think this is a team that plays boxes and elbows, and they stay at home and I think we think we can attack the guy and beat him because he’s playing off of us, and that’s when you run into more players. You have to move the basketball and I think a lot of our turnovers were because we’re trying to beat guys individually rather than swing, swing and make the ball move, make the defence move." - Jay Triano, on turnovers against the Pistons
Mon., Dec. 27 @ Grizzlies
8:00 PM ET, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors get a much-needed four-day break before beginning an difficult stretch of 11 of their next 15 games on the road. Memphis is the first stop on the first three-game road trip, which also sees the Raptors travel to Dallas and Houston. The Raptors have struggled of late against the Grizz, dropping three straight overall and their last two in Memphis.
|41||Points scored off 24 Raptors turnovers|
|32||Number of turnovers in two games vs. Detroit this season|
|67||Field goals attempted by the Raptors|
|52.2||Shooting percentage for the Raptors|
|1,000||Career games played by Pistons Centre Ben Wallace|
|"We have a lot of guys that can score, but we could be even more deadly if we had better ball movement and I think that's something we can definitely control."|
- Julian Wright, on improving on offence
|"McGrady, these Canadian fans need to keep booing him. They need to boo him more often because he played terrific."|
- Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva on booing Tracy McGrady
|"We got to do a better job. It’s tough to go into a break to celebrate Christmas with a loss like that."|
- Linas Kleiza, on the turnovers