Photo Credit: Raptors Twitter
Although a much healthier lineup returned for the Raptors tonight, they struggled on both sides of the ball, losing their second game of the season to the lowly Detroit Pistons.
The Raptors set themselves behind from tip-off, allowing 37 points in the first quarter, and were not able to catch up, as Detroit was able to snap their four game losing streak. Toronto wasted a career night for Norman Powell who scored 43 points on an incredibly efficient 18 shots, and are in the midst of their first six-game losing streak since 2012.
Chris Boucher had another solid performance, scoring 21 points, but Powell was really the leading force on the offensive side tonight, keeping them in the game countless times. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam returned to the lineup after missing the past five and six games respectively but shot poor from the field. In addition, Kyle Lowry only recorded 8 points, his first game below double-digits in the past 11.
While Norman Powell recorded his fifth 30 point game in the last seven, Lowry, Siakam and VanVleet combined to shoot below 19% from the field on 37 attempts and were 1 for 17 from beyond the arc. The team shooting outside of Powell was a pivotal factor in the Raptors loss tonight much to Nick Nurse’s demise.
While cutting into the lead in the fourth quarter, Toronto was not able to record enough stops and were dominated on the glass, outrebounded 53-30 on the night. The Pistons were able to shoot over 50% from the field as Toronto once again struggled with the Detroit offence.
Jerami Grant scored 23 points matching his season average, while Saddiq Bey led the way, scoring a team-high 28 points and six three pointers on ten attempts. The Raptors cut it to within two, before Grant hit a jumper with under eight seconds left to bury Toronto’s chances.
Having gone nearly three weeks without a win, the Raptors now sit at 17-23, 11th in the Eastern Conference. With just under half of the season left, the Raptors must pick it up, but will be in tough against the NBA leading Utah Jazz. Tip-off is set for 8PM EST Friday and can be seen on Sportsnet.