Raj Metha/USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Raptors have won their fifth straight, this time over the Detroit Pistons by a score of 110-100. The Raptors fans in the stadium were excellent, showering Kyle Lowry with MVP chants, chanting We the North, and supporting Landry Fields when the Raptors wing went down after an ugly fall. However, Fields came away from the incident with only eight stitches, and he passed the concussion protocol. According to some of the Raptors beat writers, Fields is doing well. This game began stretch of seven road games over the teams next eight matches.
Even when the defense let the Raptors down, the offense was flowing throughout the game. Six players scored in double figures as the team racked up 24 assists. Lou Williams and Patrick Patterson combined to hit five of the team’s eight threes, while Chuck Hayes chipped in a season-high nine points. The ball tended to stick in one players hands during the first quarter, but it began to zip around the court as the game progressed.
When the game first started, it had the look and feel of a college game. The play was very sloppy, there was little structure and the Raptors looked flat. Poor starts have been a recurring theme for this team, and tonight was no exception. The Pistons, a bottom-five offensive unit, dropped 31 points in the first quarter. However, when it was time to handle their business against an inferior opponent, the Raptors were suffocating on the defensive end. The Pistons were held to 39 points during the second and third quarters, . The game was effectively over by the fourth.
The Raptors were outrebounded by two, giving up nine rebounds to the Pistons on the offensive glass. Andre Drummond was a menace, gathering 11 boards in just 21 minutes of action. Jonas Valanciunas collected seven in a solid effort, while Amir Johnson had eight in just under 18 minutes of action.
Game Ball: James Johnson
James Johnson threw down a dunk so vicious over Drummond that the Pistons center felt the need to retaliate (kudos to Hayes for defending his teammate.) He also had 12 points and eight rebounds as part of another strong showing by the bench. Johnson will be crucial to the Raptor’s hopes during their upcoming six game road trip.