Game Rap: Raptors 101, Pistons 102
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled a corner three with 13.2 seconds remaining to put the Pistons ahead by a point and to complete a 16-point fourth quarter comeback. The Raptors would not score on their final possession, dropping a disappointing 102-101 loss to the Pistons at home after getting outscored 36-19 in the final frame.
Patrick Patterson missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee. Prior to the game, Dwane Casey said that Patterson would be a game-time decision, but shortly before tip the team announced that he would not suit up. Rookie big man Jakob Poeltl started in his place alongside Jonas Valanciunas, DeMarre Carroll, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
The Raptors got off to a good start on both ends of the floor on Sunday. Toronto shot 59 percent in the opening quarter while holding Detroit to 43 percent, despite holding just a two-point lead after one. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a 10-point quarter on 5-for-6 field goals as the team connected on 10-of-17 shots, including 3-of-5 three-pointers.
CONTINUING IN THE SECOND
Toronto continued to score at ease, shooting 50 percent in the second. Detroit’s offence disappeared in second, dipping to just 29 percent as they made just 1-of-8 three-pointers, and 7-of-24 field goals. Jonas Valanciunas had an eight-point quarter while DeMarre Carroll had a perfect half, scoring 11 points on 4-for-4 field goals. DeMar DeRozan added 12 as the Raptors held a 51-45 lead at the halftime break.
WIDENING THE GAP
Toronto’s offence continued to roll in the third. The team shot 59 percent while holding Detroit to 39 percent as the Raptors outscored the Pistons 31-21 in the quarter. DeMar DeRozan had a 10-point effort as the Raptors closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to turn an eight-point advantage into 16, matching their largest lead of the game heading into the fourth.
FOURTH QUARTER COLLAPSE
After spending two practice sessions this week working on defensive drills and discussing the need to play defence for a full 48 minutes, it was a familiar story for Toronto late in the game on Sunday. Despite leading by 16 heading into the fourth, the Raptors fell apart on both ends of the floor, giving up 62 percent shooting to a Pistons team that had shot 37 percent through the first three quarters. Toronto’s offence also faltered as the Raptors shot just 37 percent in the quarter in a complete role reversal of the rest of the game. Detroit outscored Toronto 36-19 in the quarter, taking its first lead of the fourth on a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three-pointer with 13.6 seconds remaining to put the Pistons ahead by a point. Toronto would not score on its final possession.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 26 points in 38 minutes. He shot 10-for-21 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line while adding seven rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 points to go with nine rebounds in 34 minutes of action. He shot 7-for-14 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. DeMarre Carroll had another strong night offensively, scoring 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc in 36 minutes. Carroll also added two rebounds, three assists and a steal.
THAT'S A RAP…
“It’s not one player, it’s all of us. It’s coaching staff, it’s all of us, we’re in this together. Some of our bench guys are now starting, our second group is in the first group so the chemistry is off a little bit. There is no excuse. We’ve got to dig ourselves out. We put ourselves in this situation, we’ve got to dig ourselves out of this situation. We’re not going to point fingers, it’s not one person’s fault, second unit, first unit, it’s all of us.”
- Dwane Casey summing up a tough loss
BY THE #’S
51…Percent shooting in the game for Toronto, compared with the fourth quarter where the Raptors connected on just 38 percent of their field goals.
41…Rebounds for the Pistons, 38 for the Raptors. Detroit held an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass.
18…Assists for Toronto, just 12 for Detroit.
44…Points in the paint for the Raptors, 28 for the Pistons.
52…Bench points scored by Detroit compare to just 23 for Toronto.
THEY SAID IT…
“They made great adjustments. They made very good adjustments. Tobias Harris played very well and they did a good job of adjusting and making plays against us.”
- Kyle Lowry on not being able to stop the Pistons in the fourth
“I don’t know, we have to go in tomorrow, see the mistakes we had, what we could have done better and how we can apply it to the next situation because we’re going to be in that situation 27 more times or however many games we have left. We have to be ready for it.”
- DeMar DeRozan when asked if the team is readjusting when opponents adjust late
“I thought our defence overall was better, contesting shots, getting into position doing the stretch. We put ourselves in position to win, but we’ve got to learn to play with a lead. That’s our biggest issue right now. Some of the shots we take when we have a lead or we’re behind trying to get a lead may not be good shots. Those are things we’ve got to continue to get better at. I’ll take the blame on that. We’ve been concentrating so much on defence, but still offensively, we’ve got to execute and make sure we take the shot we want to take.”
- Dwane Casey on a better defensive effort for three quarters and then a disappointing fourth
The Raptors look to get back on track as they head to Chicago to take on the Bulls Tuesday at 8 P.M. ET.