The Detroit Pistons swept the season series against the Toronto Raptors after going toe-to-toe against one of the East’s best teams and coming out on top 110-107 in front of a raucous crowd full of equal parts Pistons and Raptors fans.
Dwane Casey again was able to secure the win against his former team thanks a 10-2 surge that took the Pistons from down two with just under three minutes to play to up six with 20 seconds remaining.
The key to that game-sealing surge was Andre Drummond who secured huge rebounds, sunk clutch free-throws and stole the ball at the top of the key from Kawhi Leonard. Drummond broke away but instead of trying to take it in for a difficult dunk, Dre saw Wayne Ellington streaking down the floor and gave the rock up so that Ellington could coast in for a layup.
The win was not easy to come by. It was a back and forth game, and despite playing pretty solid D the entire night, the Pistons just couldn’t stop Toronto from beyond the arc. The Raptors hit 18 of their 36 threes, tied for their second-highest total of the season. Kawhi Leonard hit five, Danny Green hit four and Fred VanVleet hit four.
Drummond secured seven of his 17 rebounds in that decisive final quarter and added 15 points on the night. Blake Griffin added 25 points and eight rebounds while Detroit’s bench came up big again.
Zaza Pachulia, who has been slowed with limited mobility (even for him), is starting to look healthier and chipped in 11 points in 13 big minutes. Ish Smith added eight points and eight assists, and Langston Galloway had 11 points.
Luke Kennard wasn’t able to do much scoring as Toronto was selling out on him to take away his open looks, but he was able to find Thon Maker for a pretty nifty look:
Holy hell! Luke Kennard insane lob to Thon Maker!— Martin (@ImMartinHi) March 17, 2019
SHOWTIME PISTONS! pic.twitter.com/QodDvcbglQ
Altogether, the reserve unit was able to do what’s it’s done a lot lately — play with pace, provide a boost in energy and put the ball in the basket — tonight it was to the tuen of 39 points.
Drummond collected his 1,000 rebound of the season during the game, the sixth straight year he has done so. Griffin, meanwhile, scored his 13,000th career point.
The Raptors, who are probably relieved that Detroit isn’t likely to be their first-round opponent in the playoffs, were led by Leonard with 33 points.
Reggie Jackson added 20 points and four assists.