The Toronto Raptors showed why they have the best record in the Eastern Conference on Friday night.
At least during the second half they did. The Pistons played to a 52-52 tie in the first half, but were outscored 58-48 in the second half, and it was really not even that close.
Listening on the radio for the first three and a half quarters, if I didn't already know this was a home game I never would've guessed it was one. You could hear the well-traveling Raptors fans chanting We The North and M-V-P for Kyle Lowry ("fat chance of that happening" is how Mark Champion responded) and cheering louder for Raptors baskets than Pistons fans after Pistons baskets despite the fact the Pistons were staying competitive for 24 minutes.
The Raptors took over in the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the quarter and never looking back. The Raptors extended their lead to as many as 16 in the quarter and got the lead up to 22 in the fourth.
I was able to tune into the game around the time James Johnson was beginning to have his way in the paint -- like the Raptors were able to do all night. Dunk. Driving layup. Driving dunk (!!!). It was truly pathetic. What was probably more frustrating than owning up to terrible defense was seeing Johnson flexing, stroking himself the entire trip back to the other end of the court. Andre Drummond finally had enough, responding in true Bad Boys fashion by putting Johnson on his ass the next time down. The Raptors naturally did not like that.
This started a mini-scuffle between the two teams, with four players -- Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes picking up technicals. Even a fan got ejected for exchanging words with Josh Smith.
In all, the Raptors owned The Palace, scoring 60 in the paint. The Pistons outrebounded the Raptors 49-47, but they were no match in stopping the Raptors from penetrating and scoring down low.
Drummond's double-double streak ended with only nine points and 10 rebounds.
Now your thoughts.
GameThread Roll Call
|27||ghost of Dumars||2|
|36||KCP for 3 and it's through||1|