Raptors defeat Pistons 119-118, VanVleet hits the top 30 for the ninth time

February 13, 2023

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Detroit Pistons 119-118 on Sunday for their fourth victory in five games. Pascal Siakam added 28 points, while Fred VanVleet scored 35 points, surpassing 30 for a career-high ninth time this season.


Toronto defeated Detroit for the second time in a row after losing the previous six encounters thanks to Scottie Barnes’ 20 points and Precious Achiuwa’s 11 points and 11 rebounds.


After losing a 12-point lead in the final five minutes of Friday’s home defeat to Utah, VanVleet and the Raptors recovered.


VanVleet said, “That hurt.” “Everyone was indeed frustrated, but the game continued. We must focus on the games in front of us and stack them as high as we can.”


VanVleet has a record of 20-7 for Toronto when he scores 30 points or more. In three straight games, Siakam has scored 25 or more points.


In charge of the Raptors on Sunday while head coach Nick Nurse was abroad for personal matters, Toronto assistant coach Adrian Griffin remarked, “It’s a luxury to have two men out there who you can instruct the team through.”


Dwane Casey, the head coach in Detroit, worked with Siakam and VanVleet while in Toronto.


About Toronto’s duo, Casey observed, “They were the difference in the game.” “They carried the entire team; they did a terrific job.”


Bojan Bogdanovic got 33 points for the Pistons, Alec Burks had 21, Hamidou Diallo had 21, and Jaden Ivey had 18. Detroit failed to win two straight games for the second time this season.


Detroit defeated San Antonio in double overtime in a game of two of the NBA’s weakest teams on Friday. Since winning at Denver and Utah on November 22 and 23, the Pistons have lost all ten of their victories.


With 10.1 seconds left in the 4th quarter, Ivey’s 3-pointer brought the score to 116-113, but VanVleet immediately retaliated with free throws.


Achiuwa sank one of two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to give Toronto a four-point lead after Bogdanovic scored two. Ivey’s three at the final buzzer was insufficient for Detroit.


Jalen Duren, a center with the Pistons, had a right ankle injury in the 2nd quarter but came back to play to begin the second half. Friday marked a career-high 30 points for the adolescent rookie. Duren, 19, concluded the game with six points in 21 minutes.


He turned it very well, said Casey. “When they approached the rim, he tried to travel up and down the floor but could not pivot or move. We can only hope it won’t endure for very long.”


18 Detroit turnovers led to 14 points for Toronto. The Raptors scored a season-low five points off of their eight turnovers.


Casey says, “We need to be stronger and more intelligent with the ball. Many turnovers were self-inflicted; we threw the ball to no one or the air.”


Jakob Poeltl, a center for the Raptors, had his first start in two games after returning to his original squad. Gary Trent Jr., a guard, sat due to a strained left calf, so he took his place.


Toronto led 53-52 at the half and 85-77 heading into the fourth.

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