Game Preview: Raptors at Pistons
Toronto Raptors (46-17) @ Detroit Pistons (29-35)
When: Wednesday, Mar. 7th, 8 P.M. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena
Broadcast info: TSN4/5, TSN1050
The Raptors defeated the Pistons 123-94 on the Air Canada Centre floor in their last meeting at the end of February. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 20 points, Serge Ibaka added 19 points, and Pascal Siakam added 11 off the bench as the Raptors blew the game open in the second half. Toronto led 59-53 at the halftime break, but went on a 19-4 run to start the third quarter and never looked back. The Pistons were led by Andre Drummond's 18 points and 18 rebounds in the loss. Toronto made 17 three-pointers and recorded 31 assists in the game.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: The status of OG Anunoby (sprained right ankle) and Delon Wright (sprained big toe) are not known at this time. For the Pistons, Reggie Jackson (right ankle sprain) and Jon Leuer (left ankle surgery) are out.
Introducing Nigel: The Raptors announced on Tuesday that the team had signed Nigel Hayes from the NBA G League Westchester Knicks to a 10-day contract. The 6-foot-8,Hayes is averaging 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 35.6 minutes in 38 games with the Westchester Knicks this season.
Casey on Hayes: Raptors head coach Dwane Casey spoke about Hayes' addition prior to Toronto's victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. "I know he's a tough kid," he said. "I watched him when he played in the NCAA Tournament at Wisconsin. "I looked at his [three-point shooting] numbers when he was at Westchester, and they've really improved. That's what we want to look at – here or with the 905 or whatever – make sure we evaluate him. That position in today's NBA is very valuable. If you can be a two-way guy at that position, a power three, a stretch four. Everybody is looking for those players."
Back-to-back: Wednesday's contest against the Pistons will be a back-to-back for the Raptors who defeated the Atlanta Hawks 106-90 on Tuesday night. Toronto flew to Detroit immediately after Tuesday's game, to face the Pistons for the third time this season. Toronto is 2-0 in their previous meetings with Detroit with both wins coming at home.
From deep: C.J. Miles led the team in +/- in Tuesday's victory, with the Raptors being a +22 when he was on the floor. Miles played 27 minutes off the bench, scoring 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter as he and the rest of the bench mob pulled away from the Hawks. He shot 5-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-9 from beyond the arc while adding seven rebounds and an assist.
Late-game defence: After hanging with the Hawks throughout the first three quarters, Toronto entered the fourth trailing by one on Tuesday night. For the final 12 minutes, they clamped down on defence and finally found their offence. The Raptors outscored Atlanta 30-13 in the final quarter, shooting 52 percent after shooting 34 percent in the first three quarters.. The bench scored 27 of the team's 30 points, with the reserves playing nearly the entire quarter.