Siakam, Raptors dominate Pistons 118-97

TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors put up a great defensive effort to clinch a decisive victory on Friday night.

Pascal Siakam had a game-high 32 points and nine assists as the Raptors beat the Detroit Pistons 118-97. Coming into Friday, which leads the NBA in averaging 9.3 steals per game, Toronto had 12 steals and nine blocks as the Pistons coughed 22 times.

The Raptors also scored 23 points from turnovers.

“I thought we did a good job defensively,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought we were really aggressive in chasing the ball and deflecting it a lot. He made a lot of turnovers, blocked a lot of shots and kept playing.”

Chris Boucher added 19 points and 13 rebounds off the bench while Fred VanVleet poured 18 points into Toronto (36-38) to end a two-game skid.

The story continues under the ad

This was the first season the Raptors swept the Pistons since the 2017-18 campaign. Toronto also improved to 7-0 on a year that held their opponents under 100 points.

The Raptors are eighth in the Eastern Conference with eight games left in the regular season, moving within half a game of Atlanta.

“Every game now is important to us. I don’t care who I play against,” Siakam said. “All of these games are important to us, and we want to be out there and give you everything we’ve got in all our games… this is it.”

Related Videos

Jaden Ivey extended his losing streak to five games with 20 points over Detroit (16-58). Marvin Bagley III scored his 14th and he added nine rebounds, while James Wiseman also scored his 14th.

The story continues under the ad

“I think our effort tonight was terrible. We have to try harder,” said Ivey. “Our effort has to be high to get back on defense and make second effort plays.

“We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘Is our spirit there? That’s the most important thing when you step onto the floor. “

OG Anunoby kick-started a 7-0 Toronto run with a 3-point shot, and Will Burton closed it with a quick layup after a VanVleet steal to put the Raptors at 17-7 with 7:45 left in the first quarter. took the lead.

Thirty-five seconds later, Burton extended his lead by hitting corner three. Toronto had three points up to that point and from his range he went 5/7 and he closed out the frame 38-26.

The Pistons closed the gap with a 7-2 run early in the second, but Siakam lost momentum. The All-Star forward scored his 7 of his 26 points in the first half in his subsequent 9-2 run over Toronto.

After two free throws with 46.1 seconds remaining, Jakob Poeltl blocked a Bagley Floater attempt to send Toronto 72-52 going into halftime.

“They were like machines to start the game,” Pistons coach Dwayne Casey said.

Anunoby’s 18-foot jumper, with 2:03 left in the third, gave the Raptors their biggest lead of the night at 22 points and advanced to fourth with a 92–73 edge.

The story continues under the ad

Boucher scored five points early on in an 8-3 Toronto run to make the game 104-77. The Montreal native followed up a Siakam mistake with a mighty putback dunk to Pistons center Jalen Duren, then hit a free throw. Boucher then blocked Duren and hit a 3-pointer after two possessions.

“It’s best when he’s flying around. It’s a little wild at times. It’s fun to watch,” Nurse said of Boucher. “He’s blocking shots. He’s trying to dunk everything…and just making a lot of energy plays.

“I think it’s contagious and it translates to other players, so that’s a big thing.”

Canadian history

Casey expressed pride in the history made Wednesday in Toronto.The Indiana Pacers, whose starting lineup includes Andrew Nemhard of Aurora, Ontario, Benedict Mathurin of Montreal and Oshae Brissett of Mississauga, Ontario, They became the first team to start three Canadian-born players in an NBA game since starters were officially tracked in 1970-71. .

“They played really well and there’s something about it. I’m proud to see the growth of Canadian basketball that started with that group,” Casey said before the game. ), you’re probably going ‘hmm’, but I understand how important that is. It was really beautiful to see.”


The story continues under the ad

The Raptors have forward Precious Achiuwa (stiff right hamstring), Scotty Barnes (sore left wrist), Joe Wieskamp (strained right hamstring) and guard Gary Trent Jr. (stiff right elbow). left without.


The Raptors: Wrap up their two-game homestand on Sunday against the Washington Wizards.

Pistons: We’re going home to face the NBA’s best Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 24, 2023.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button