The Toronto Raptors struggles against Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons continued on Thursday night as they fell 108-106 at Scotiabank Arena.
The loss drops the Raptors to 34-28 on the season and 17-14 at home, ending a mini 2-game winning streak.
The Raptors looked outmatched out of the gate with the Pistons showing a lot of energy early. Rookie Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey were active, and the Raptors struggled to get quality looks with Fred VanVleet out of the lineup once again due to injury. The second frame was better for Toronto, but they still trailed 60-57 at the break. As it has been several times this year, the start of the third was a disaster for the Raptors as the Pistons pushed the lead back into double-digits, creating an uphill battle for Toronto in the final frame. Through timely buckets from Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes the Raptors were able to slowly battle back in the fourth, cutting the deficit to two with a minute to play. Precious Achiuwa went to the line with a chance to tie the game but missed one of his free throws, and Bey was able to ice the win at the other end for Detroit.
Siakam was the leading scorer for the Raptors in the loss, scoring 28 points on 10/15 from the floor. Barnes continued his hot stretch with a 21-point 10-rebound double-double, while Gary Trent Jr. struggled mightily with his shot, going 4/23 for 14 points. Achiuwa was impactful off the bench yet against despite the late miss at the line, scoring 18 points with 7 rebounds. Canadian Chris Boucher was valuable off the bench as well, grabbing 10 boards and a block in 27 minutes of work.
The Pistons win was spurred by a three headed monster on Thursday night, as Jeremi Grant led the way with 26 points and 4 assists. Bey had 23 with 6 rebounds and the 2021 1st overall selection Cunningham had an impressive 22-point 12-rebound double-double with 5 assists. The Pistons didn’t get much offence outside of those core guys, although Hamidou Diallo was efficient off the bench with 11 points and 4 rebounds.
It was an offensive struggle all night long for the Raptors who for whatever reason cannot get out of their own way against the Pistons. Toronto shot a lowly 26.9% from deep and lost the assist battle 25-12. The Raptors were forced to play from behind the entire way and were unable to string enough positive offensive possessions together to take the lead.
It’s been a difficult stretch for the Raptors who have now played five games in seven nights, and are without two of their best players in VanVleet and OG Anunoby. It was announced today that Anunoby would miss another two weeks to rest his finger, and the Raptors will be hoping there aren’t any additional setbacks past that point.
The Raptors remain in seventh place in the East despite the loss, although they’re now 2 full games behind the 6th place Cavaliers. Still, the Raptors are in a great place to at least qualify for the play-in tournament, sitting 5 games ahead of the 11th place Wizards.
Toronto’s hectic stretch continues as they prepare for a back-to-back on Friday against the Orlando Magic, while the Pistons will have a back-to-back of their own as they return home to face the Indiana Pacers.
Siakam – 28 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
Barnes – 21 PTS 10 REB 2 AST
Achiuwa – 18 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
Cunningham – 22 PTS 12 REB 5 AST
Grant – 26 PTS 3 REB 4 AST
Bey – 23 PTS 6 REB 3 AST