Raptors try to cool off visiting Pistons

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors got back into the win column last time out and will try to keep it going Monday versus the suddenly surging Detroit Pistons.

The Raptors were mired in a four-game losing streak until besting the Boston Celtics, 109-96, on Saturday behind Kyle Lowry's 19 points and seven assists. Lou Williams scored 19 points off the bench, while James Johnson, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas all scored 15 points.

Toronto forced 18 turnovers and rebounded from last Thursday's loss to the Charlotte Hornets in the opener of a six-game homestand.

"I thought our defensive mojo was back," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "We were doing the things we needed to do with activity and anticipation."

Lowry has scored 19 or more points in nine straight games and is averaging 22.4 ppg in the absence of DeMar DeRozan (groin). DeRozan is nearing a return to the Raptors, who are 12-8 without the All-Star.

The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors are 15-4 at home and will also host Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans at Air Canada Centre.

Detroit had a seven-game winning streak stopped Friday night versus the Hawks, but rebounded with Saturday's 98-93 victory over Brooklyn. The Pistons had a game-high 96-84 lead late in the game.

Brandon Jennings scored all 20 of his points in the second half and handed out 11 assists, and Greg Monroe finished with 16 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Detroit, winners in eight of nine since waiving Josh Smith.

"Winning is always fun," Monroe said. "We just want to keep it going."

The Pistons will try to extend their road winning streak to six games and are 8-10 away from home this season. They will host New Orleans on Wednesday and won six straight on road back in 2007.

Detroit's franchise record for consecutive road wins in seven, set from Jan. 18 - Feb. 22, 2002.

Toronto defeated Detroit, 110-100, on Dec. 19 in the first of four meetings this season. The two teams will play again Jan. 25 and March 24. The Raptors have won four straight against the Pistons and six of the last seven.