Raptors beat Pistons to keep playoff hopes alive

DETROIT (Reuters) - The Toronto Raptors kept their playoff hopes alive with an 111-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday, pulling within half a game of Chicago for the Eastern Conference's final postseason spot.

Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high 33 points and added seven rebounds while Amir Johnson scored a career-high 26 points to help snap a five-game losing streak for the Raptors, who have struggled without injured All Star Chris Bosh.

Toronto (39-42) own the tie-breaker over the Bulls because they won two of their three meetings this season, but they must win their final game and hope Chicago lose at least one of their remaining two to claim the East's eighth seed for the postseason.

"We control a bit of our destiny," Raptors guard Jose Calderon told reporters. "We've got to win one and Chicago's got Boston and Charlotte. Those are no easy games. They've got the pressure now."

Bargnani scored 17 points in the second quarter to propel the Raptors to a 12-point lead at halftime. The loss was the Pistons' (26-55) second in a row.

After losing to the Bulls a day earlier to fall one game behind in the playoff race, Toronto shot 60 percent from the field and the three-point line.

With Bosh sidelined for the rest of the regular season with a facial fracture, the Raptors needed a team effort to escape their slump and got it with 15 points and 12 assists off the bench from Jarrett Jack along with 11 assists from Calderon.

"It's been difficult at times (without Bosh)," Jack said. "Typically when the game gets rough we're able to go to our horse down low and with him not here it leaves us searching at the tough point in the game."

Ben Gordon led Detroit with 24 points but the home team went scoreless for about three and a half minutes in the third where they fell behind by 22.

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ian Ransom)