Game Preview: Raptors at Pistons
Toronto Raptors (58-22) @ Detroit Pistons (38-42)
When: Monday, April 9, 7 P.M. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena
Broadcast info: SN1, TSN1050
Toronto's last game against the Pistons was one to remember. In Detroit, DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points to lead the Raptors to a 121-119 overtime victory. He had perhaps the dunk of the year at the end of regulation, then a killer assist at the end of overtime, finding Fred VanVleet for a corner jumper to seal the victory for the Raptors. It was a comeback win for Toronto, after trailing by 17 points in the first half. Kyle Lowry had a 15-point, 15-assist double-double, while Jonas Valanciunas also had a double-double, adding 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Pistons were led by Blake Griffin's 31 points, while Andre Drummond added 10 points and 21 rebounds.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: For the Raptors, the injury report is TBD. Lucas Nogueira left Sunday's game with a sore hamstring and did not return, while Fred VanVleet left Sunday's game, because of back tightness. Norman Powell briefly left Sunday's game with a sprained ankle, but did return. Each of their availabilities against the Pistons are unknown. For the Pistons, Reggie Bullock (left knee swelling), Blake Griffin (bone bruise, right ankle), and Jon Leuer (left ankle surgery) are out.
Finished at home: Toronto closed out its final regular season home game with a 112-101 victory against the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The win moved the team to 58-22 on the season, and 34-7 at home, both newly set franchise-records for wins in a season, and wins at home. The 34-7 home record ties the Raptors with the Houston Rockets for best home record in the season.
Back-to-back: Monday's game will be the team's final back-to-back of the season, with the team heading to Detroit immediately after defeating the Magic at home. Detroit will also be on a back-to-back, following a 130-117 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Final trip: With their regular-season home schedule finished, the Raptors will play their final two games of the regular season on the road. After facing the Pistons, the Raptors will head to Miami to close out the regular season against the Heat on Wednesday night. Toronto has already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Lineup switch-up: Though Dwane Casey is not a fan of sitting players for extended rest once a playoff position is locked in, he did elect to rest DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas on Sunday against the Magic. With two starters sitting, Lucas Nogueira and Norman Powell slid into the starting five, though Nogueira played just six minutes before leaving with a sore hamstring. With Fred VanVleet also leaving the game because of back tightness, the goal will be getting guys healthy before the postseason tips off on the weekend.
Career-high: Dwane Casey has praised rookie OG Anunoby for his work on the defensive end of the floor in recent weeks. On Sunday, his offensive game was on display as Anunoby scored a career-high 21 points in 34 minutes. He shot 7-for-10 from the floor, 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, and 2-for-3 from the free throw line. He also added eight rebounds.