Game Preview: Raptors vs. Pistons
Detroit Pistons (22-20) @ Toronto Raptors (29-13)
When: Wednesday, January 17th, 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: SN1, TSN1050
Toronto's last meeting with the Pistons came in April of last season. It was Kyle Lowry's return from a wrist injury and he had a huge game, scoring 27 points to go with 10 assists to lead Toronto in a 105-102 comeback road win. The Raptors fell behind early and trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half. Things turned in the fourth quarter as Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 of his 19 points and Cory Joseph added 15 points. The Raptors exploded in the final quarter, outscoring the Pistons 37-22, to lead by three with 7.1 seconds remaining. On Detroit's final possession, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tobias Harris each missed game-tying shots, allowing the Raptors to escape with the win.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, the injury report is clear. For the Pistons, Stanley Johnson (right hip flexor) is questionable. Reggie Jackson (right ankle sprain) and Jon Leuer (left ankle sprain) are out.
Back to business: After a heated loss in Philadelphia on Monday, the Raptors are eager to get back in the winning column. Dwane Casey is eager to see his team put together a strong effort from opening tip onward after sluggish first half efforts against the 76ers and Golden State Warriors. This will be the first of four meetings against the Pistons this season.
Home court: Despite recent losses to the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors on the ACC floor, the Raptors still hold the second-best NBA home record at 15-3 this season. Toronto's offence has been potent on its home floor with the team averaging 115.6 points at the Air Canada Centre (second in the NBA), and connecting on 11.5 three-pointers per home contest as well.
Preseason battle: The Raptors saw Detroit in Toronto for their only home preseason game in October. Toronto earned a 116-94 victory behind a 19-point performance from C.J. Miles in a game where the Raptors shot 52 percent from the floor and led by 20 midway through the third quarter.
Lowry's return: Kyle Lowry returned to the court in his hometown Philadelphia after a three-game absence because of a bruised tailbone. Lowry finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes. On the season, he is averaging a career-high 6.1 rebounds per game to go with 16.2 points and 6.9 assists. Lowry is also eighth in the league in three-point field goals made (113).
Familiar faces: Pistons big man Andre Drummond played with DeMar DeRozan on the US National Team that won a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup in 2014. Pistons assistant coach Aaron Gray played for the Raptors from 2011-13, while guard Dwight Buycks played in Toronto during the 2013-14 season. Raptors assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse played in Detroit from 1998-2002 and forward Serge Ibaka played with Pistons guard Reggie Jackson in Oklahoma City from 2011-2015.