NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 12th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (25-39) at Toronto Raptors (35-27), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors will try to get back into the win column Wednesday night when they welcome the Detroit Pistons to Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors had a three-game winning streak halted Monday night with a road loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The loss, coupled with the Brooklyn win, shrunk Toronto's lead in the Atlantic Division to three games over the Nets.
"They (Nets) have veteran guys," said Raptors forward John Salmons. "They have guys that can hit guys in the clutch. They got guys that have carried teams in the past. It's definitely a tough team."
Kyle Lowry had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Amir Johnson poured in 16 points for Toronto, which has won two straight north of the border.
Tyler Hansbrough also finished with 16 points, followed by 14 from DeMar DeRozan and 12 out of Terrence Ross.
The Raptors begin a three-game homestand Wednesday night and will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
The Pistons ended a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 99-89 home victory over the Sacramento Kings. Detroit has dropped nine straight as the visitor.
Josh Smith notched 24 points and eight rebounds in the Pistons' triumph. Rodney Stuckey contributed 23 points off the bench, while Andre Drummond gave 15 points and five blocked shots to help Detroit. Kyle Singler had 11 points and five steals in the win.
The Pistons pulled away thanks to a near flawless defensive frame in the third, as they held the Kings to just 11 points on 4-of-20 shooting. Smith and Brandon Jennings opened the period with 3-pointers, and Detroit led the rest of the way.
"We didn't give them easy looks," said Detroit interim head coach John Loyer. "In that quarter I think we held them to 11 points and our contest rate was one of the highest of the year."
Despite the sub .500 record, the Pistons are just three games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
"I have to be able to contribute, I don't want to sit home in April and think about what I could have done," said Smith, who is averaging 21.1 ppg over his last nine. "I just want to try to leave it all out there on the floor."
03/12 10:20:12 ET