Atlantic Division champion Raptors visit Detroit
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors are Atlantic Division champions, but there is still playoff positioning at stake Sunday afternoon when they visit The Palace of Auburn Hills to meet the Detroit Pistons.
The Raptors clinched the franchise's second Atlantic Division title, despite a home loss to the New York Knicks on Friday night. When the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Atlanta Hawks the same night, the Raptors sealed up the division for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
"We're still anxious," said DeMar DeRozan. "We still want more. We're not satisfied with nothing. We understand we have much more basketball to play and a long road to go and we want to take advantage of it, not just get there and say we got there, where people doubted us. We definitely feel like we can go in and make some noise."
Toronto fell a game behind the Chicago Bulls in pursuit of the third seed in the Eastern Conference. If the Raptors are victorious today they will tie the franchise record for wins in a season. They won 47 games in 2000-01 and matched that in 2006-07.
DeRozan paced the Raptors with 26 points against the Knicks. Kyle Lowry tallied 25 and Jonas Valanciunas dropped in 14 points with a career-high 21 rebounds.
"It sucks that we lost the game, but it feels great to win the division," said DeRozan.
The Pistons have lost two straight since a two-game winning streak.
On Friday, Detroit blew an 18-point halftime lead and fell, 106-98, to the Bulls at the United Center.
"You play the Bulls, and especially in this building, you know it's going to be a 48-minute war," Pistons coach John Loyer said. "Whether you're up 18 or down whatever, you're going to have to come in here and compete. That team competes on every possession. You can't take your foot off the pedal for a second."
Andre Drummond registered 26 points and 26 rebounds for the Pistons. He matched a career-high with the 26 rebounds after he grabbed that many in a March game against the Knicks.
Rodney Stuckey added 22 points in defeat, while Brandon Jennings netted 17 and Peyton Siva chipped in 12 off the bench.
Detroit will close the regular season Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Raptors have won both matchups this season, although both contests were in Toronto. Detroit has taken four of the last five as the host in this series.
04/13 10:14:55 ET