Raptors erase early deficit to beat Pistons

Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto used a strong third quarter to overcome a slow start and beat Detroit, 110-100, Friday.

Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds in their fifth straight win.

Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams each netted 15 points, and James Johnson added 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Toronto, which did not lead at all in the first half.

"I give our bench a lot of credit," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "They came in and did their job."

In their third straight loss, the Pistons were led by Brandon Jennings' 22 points and eight assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

Terrence Ross' jumper to open the second half gave the Raptors their first lead of the game. Ross hit a floater a minute later and Amir Johnson's layup wrapped up a 12-0 Toronto run that started in the first half.

A 6-0 Raptors burst later in the third gave them their first double digit lead of the game with 5 1/2 minutes to play in the quarter. That lead would remain in double digits for nearly the rest of the game. Valanciunas scored 11 of his 17 in the period to stake the visitors to a 81-70 lead through three.

The Raptors extended their lead to as much as 22 on a Williams triple at the 6:28 mark, but the Pistons attempted to make the game interesting. With 3 1/2 minutes remaining, Detroit started a 12-1 run to cut its deficit to single digits. Caldwell-Pope and Jonas Jerebko each hit 3-pointers, and Jennings capped the run with four free throws.

Another Caldwell-Pope 3 made it an eight-point game with 22 seconds left, but Williams hit a pair of free throws the next possession to seal it.

Using seven blocks, three from Andre Drummond, the Pistons used defense to control the game early and lead 31-26 after one.

The Pistons led by as many as 11 in the second period when Greg Monroe's layup extended their advantage to 41-30, but the Raptors would score the last six points of the half to tie the game at 52-52.

Game Notes

Toronto has beaten Detroit four times in a row ... Detroit has lost 12 straight home games ... The Raptors are now 19-1 when leading after three quarters ... Drummond picked up a flagrant foul in the third quarter delivering an elbow to the chest of Johnson driving to the net ... The teams combined for 52 assists.