Detroit (30-16) at Toronto (21-22)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Jan 30, 2004
  • TV: FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Pistons look to continue their dominance of the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre when the Central Division rivals meet for the second time this season.

Detroit is 13-2 all-time in Toronto, and has won the last four meetings with the Raptors on their home court since a 94-92 overtime loss on April 17, 2001.

The Pistons broke out of their offensive slump on Wednesday night, beating the Boston Celtics 106-103 to snap a three-game skid that followed a 13-game winning streak. Detroit averaged just 76.7 points in the three losses.

The Celtics had a 93-90 lead in the fourth quarter but Detroit made 11 of its remaining 12 free throws, starting with two by Ben Wallace, before Chauncey Billups hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining.

Wallace had made just 51 percent of his free throws entering the game, but he went 6-for-8 from the line and finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

“Guys were coming up with big shots down the stretch,” Billups said. “That’s how we’ve been winning all year. (Wallace) made some good free throws tonight and that’s what the great ones do.”

With the win, Detroit remained 3 1/2 games back of the Indiana Pacers for first place in the division and the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto also snapped a losing streak Wednesday, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 94-84 at home to end a season-high five-game slide.

Donyell Marshall had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Morris Peterson added 18 points and Vince Carter 17 for the Raptors, who had five players score in double figures. Toronto’s Jalen Rose had 13 assists and nine points.

“We were tired of losing,” Carter said. “It’s been a tough five-game stretch, but there are other teams that have lost five or more games. We figure we are too good to let a ridiculous streak go on.”

The Raptors shot 50 percent for only the second time this season.

“We just wanted to go out there and make a statement,” said Marshall, who scored 10 of Toronto’s first 11 points. “We wanted to get our losing streak over.”

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