Pistons 91, Raptors 90By Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Nov 23, 2012 10:40 PM EST
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Brandon Knight made a layup with 7.8 seconds remaining, lifting the Detroit Pistons to a 91-90 victory over the Toronto Raptors Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Greg Monroe had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pistons (3-10). Rookie center Andre Drummond recorded his first double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Knight and Tayshaun Prince contributed 16 points apiece. Andrea Bargnani scored a season-high 34 points and Kyle Lowry scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half for the Raptors (3-10). Knight made a 3-pointer for Detroit to tie it at 82-82 with 2:54 remaining. Bargnani answered with a midrange shot but Monroe tied it again on two free throws. After an exchange of free throws and turnovers, Bargnani got loose in the left corner and drained a 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining to give the Raptors an 88-85 advantage. Prince made a pair of hook shots, sandwiching a Lowry layup, to cut Toronto's lead to 90-89. After Lowry missed an off-balance jumper, Knight then split defenders after a timeout and scored the game-winner. Lowry missed again from the left side as time expired. The Pistons gave up 21 unanswered points at the start of the second half in Orlando on Wednesday but they came out strong Friday, using an 11-2 run to build a 58-45 lead. The Raptors climbed back with a 12-2 spurt midway through the quarter and trailed 72-68 entering the fourth. Toronto then moved ahead with an 8-0 run, which included a Jose Calderon 3-pointer. Monroe, who was averaging 20.3 points and 11.5 rebounds in his last four games, had 11 points and eight rebounds by halftime as the Pistons grabbed a 47-43 lead. Neither team led by more than eight, as Bargnani kept the Raptors close with 21 first-half points. Bargnani, whose season high was 25 points, scored 17 of Toronto's 20 first-quarter points. The 7-foot Bargnani used his size advantage against 6-7 Jason Maxiell to score 11 points in the first eight minutes. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank brought in 6-10 Jonas Jerebko to guard Bargnani but that didn't slow him down. Bargnani made two free throws, a baseline shot and an elbow jumper before the quarter ended. He scored from close range early in the second before getting a rest. Bargnani added a couple of free throws with 1:32 left but the Pistons led most of the quarter. Rookie center Andre Drummond gave Detroit its biggest leads of the half -- 45-37 and 47-39 -- with a layup and dunk. Baskets by Raptors guards Lowry and DeMar DeRozan cut the Pistons' advantage in half before the break. Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas, coming off back-to-back double doubles, had a Lithuanian rooting section in the lower bowl. He gave those fans a few early thrills with seven first-half points. "He's getting accustomed to the contact," Toronto coach Dwayne Casey said. "He's understanding that if someone bangs you in the paint, it doesn't mean he wants to fight you." NOTES: Monroe has grabbed five or more rebounds in 104 consecutive games, the league's longest current streak. ... Detroit had won 14 of its last 17 home games against Toronto. ... The Pistons were 0-7 against teams under .500 entering the game. ... The teams, who rank among the five youngest in the NBA, had a combined eight rookies on their rosters. ... Neither team has finished with a winning record over the past four seasons.
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