The Toronto Raptors took advantage of a depleted Pistons lineup to pick up a rare win in Detroit.
Andrea Bargnani led Toronto with 21 points in a 94-64 win over the Pistons, snapping an 11-game losing streak in the Motor City.
“We really needed this win, because we’ve struggled here and we didn’t want to give them a window of opportunity,” Chris Bosh said. “I didn’t know the streak was that high, but I knew I had never won here.”
Detroit shot 28 per cent from the floor, matching its lowest point total since the shot clock was implemented for the 1954-55 season. The Raptors entered ranked 29th out of 30 NBA teams in points allowed.
“That was a terrible, embarrassing loss,” Kuester said. “I’m taking the blame on myself, because we didn’t look prepared, and that’s my job.”
Detroit, which has lost six straight, played without Ben Gordon (ankle), Richard Hamilton (hamstring) and Tayshaun Prince (back). Charlie Villanueva went 0 of 7 from the field while being limited to 12 minutes by a foot injury.
“That’s not a reason for us to play like this,” Chucky Atkins said. “We won five straight games with those guys out, but we aren’t playing as a team right now. We aren’t moving the ball at all.”
Elsewhere in the NBA it was: Orlando 102 Houston 87; Maimi 80 Utah 70; Minnesota 103 New Jersey 99; Denver 124 Atlanta 104; Oklahoma City 117 Phoenix 113; Portland 98 San Antonio 94; New Orleans 108 Golden State 102; Washington 109 Milwaukee 97; and Cleveland 117 Sacramento 104 (OT).
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu had 11 points and a season-best 11 assists – one more than the entire Pistons team.
“I knew I had a lot of assists, and if I’ve got the ball in my hands, I’ll make sure the guys get the best shots,” Turkoglu said. “That’s teamwork. We had great teamwork tonight.”
Reserve Will Bynum had 12 points for Detroit, but the starters were a combined 11 of 42 as the Pistons finished 12 points below its previous season low.
“When we are missing that many guys, doing the small things becomes paramount,” Kuester said. “We’re trying to keep things as simple as possible, but it isn’t working.”
Detroit scored 64 points in a loss to San Antonio on Feb. 21, 1999, and in a two-point victory over Utah on March 13, 2005.
Toronto led 54-37 at halftime, holding the Pistons to 31 per cent shooting. Rodney Stuckey went 1 of 11 for Detroit, which would have been down by a bigger margin if not for 14 offensive rebounds in the first two quarters.
The Raptors went ahead by 23 midway through the third, as Detroit continued to struggle from the field, and eventually led by as many as 31.
“This was good – I still think we could have rebounded better, but we had very active hands,” Toronto coach Jay Triano said. “I think we counted 27 deflections and we had energy. We defended and we shared the basketball. We’re a pretty tough team when we share the ball.”
Yesterday’s NBA recap
Magic 102 Rockets 87
At Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard had 20 rebounds and 13 points, and the Magic rolled to an easy win over Houston.
Heat 80 Jazz 70
At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and the Heat held Utah to its lowest offensive output of the season.
Timberwolves 103 Nets 99
At East Rutherford, N.J., Al Jefferson scored a season-high 27 points and Minnesota got a favourable videotape review in the final minute of the matchup between the NBA’s worst teams.
Nuggets 124 Hawks 104
At Denver, J.R. Smith scored a season-high 41 points, hitting 10 3-pointers, and the Nuggets beat Atlanta.
Thunder 117 Suns 113
At Phoenix, Kevin Durant scored 38 points, including a key jumper from behind the key with 14.4 seconds left, and Oklahoma City ended its nine-game losing streak to the Suns.
Trail Blazers 98 Spurs 94
At San Antonio, Jerryd Bayless scored a career-high 31 points in his first start for injured all-star Brandon Roy, leading the hobbled Trail Blazers to their third straight win.
Hornets 108 Warriors 102
At New Orleans, Chris Paul scored 20 points and the hornets handed Golden State its seventh straight loss.
Wizards 109 Bucks 97
At Milwaukee, Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Earl Boykins scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, leading Washington to the victory.
Cavaliers 117 Kings 104 (OT)
At Sacramento, Calif., LeBron James had 34 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, and Cleveland held the Kings scoreless in overtime.