The Detroit Pistons were looking to end a lengthy home losing streak. They were hosting the Toronto Raptors and were getting prized rookie Andre Drummond back after he missed 22 games with a back injury. The start was fun, the end? Well, not so much.
Brandon Knight, a minute into the game, got hit in the nose and Rodney Stuckey had to come in for him early. Knight would then come back with a protective mask. Other than that, the start was great.
Drummond was in the starting lineup for the first time this season and he scored the first bucket of the game. Jose Calderon, playing against his old Raptors teammates for the first time since the trade, followed that up with a 3. Then Kyle Singler had a put back and a hook shot.
Drummond then had a hook shot and then he jumped the passing lane and took it all the way for a layup and a 13-4 Pistons lead. It was a sight for sore eyes to see Drummond out there. The Pistons led 26-19 after a quarter.
Jonas Jerebko scored the first six points of the 2nd quarter for a 33-23 lead. Toronto would respond.
Landry Fields kicked off a 10-0 run with a tip in and former Piston Amir Johnson and rookie big man Jonas Valanciunas had some buckets in the run.
Drummond came back in and had a dunk off a Singler pass and an alley-oop slam from Calderon for a 36-33 lead. One play that made me smile was off a Stuckey miss, Drummond and Greg Monroe attacked the glass relentlessly. Monroe finally grabbed the board and then found Drummond for the slam.
However, Johnson and Valanciunas gave Toronto a 46-45 lead at halftime. Those two were a combined 13/14 shooting in the half.
In the 3rd, Toronto blew the game open. Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyle Lowry took over and the Pistons offense went cold. Lowry threw an alley-oop to DeRozan. Gay had a layup then he had a step back jumper. Gay then made a 3, DeRozan had a jumper, and Gay made another 3.
Coach Lawrence Frank called three timeouts in the quarter, but it seemed like the Pistons were just tuning him out.
The Pistons were clueless on both ends of the court. Turnovers galore. Even on made shots, nothing good happened on the other end. Monroe had a slam over Johnson, then Lowry had an alley-oop to Gay. Gay had 19 points in the 3rd quarter, out scoring the Pistons by himself 19-15, and the Raptors led 82-60 after three.
The 4th quarter consisted of Kim English, Khris Middleton, Jerebko, Singler, and Slava Kravtsov. The Pistons dropped their eight straight home game 99-82 to the Raptors.
Jerebko had 20 to lead the Pistons. Drummond had 17 points on 8/10 shooting and had two blocks. Monroe had his normal double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds and he also threw in two blocks and five assists, but he only shot 3/11 from the floor.
My one positive: Andre Drummond. Drummond looked like he was fully healed from the injury and he provided the energy and hustle that the Pistons were missing in the last 22 games. He looked a step slow on defense but that was to be expected. It was great to see Drummond back out there.