Pistons flex on Raptors, win fourth straight

Steve Blake bounced back from a four-turnover first half to pour in 10 points and five assists after intermission en route to leading the Detroit Pistons to a 114-101 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

The Pistons (31-29) used a 37-point third quarter to pull away from Toronto, leading by as many as 26 in the fourth before coasting to the finish line.

Detroit has now won four straight, placing them in a virtual deadlock with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls for the seventh seed in the East.

Grizzlies mock Steph Curry while ki... x
Grizzlies mock Steph Curry while kicking Warriors' ass

The Raptors (39-19), playing without all-star point guard Kyle Lowry, struggled to contain the Pistons guards throughout the evening. The starting backcourt of Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for 35 points and 13 assists on 14-of-22 shooting from the floor.

Andre Drummond scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in the victory, adding to his league-leading total of 25 games with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds. Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, second behind Drummond, has eight.

Tied at 52 at intermission, the Pistons slowly expanded their lead in the third before busting the contest wide open on the heels of a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three-point play book-ended by two Steve Blake triples that pushed a nine-point lead to an 86-68 advantage in just 1:22 of elapsed game time.

The rout was on in the fourth, as Blake assisted on the Pistons’ first three baskets of the period. His delivery to the corner for Reggie Bullock’s second 3-pointer in as many possessions pushed Detroit’s lead to 26, closing the door on the Raptors in the process.

Terrence Ross led Toronto with 27 points.

Additional Notes & Observations

  • Justin Harper, signed to a 10-day contract last week, saw some early minutes against Toronto and responded, connecting on a trio of 3-pointers, culminating in an NBA season-high nine point performance.
  • Tobias Harris Update: In just 25 minutes of action, Harris grabbed seven rebounds and scored 14 points on solid efficiency (5-9, 2-3 3pt, 2-2 from the line).
  • With their flammable 12-for-23 performance from behind the arc, the Pistons are now 35-of-81 (43.2%) from downtown over their last three games (all wins).
  • Next up: The Pistons head to San Antonio for a matchup with the Spurs on Wednesday (8 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit, ESPN). San Antonio is currently 28-0 at home.
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