Toronto Raptors vs Detroit Pistons

By: Veronica Harris

Thursday, March 8, 2018

“A disk or short cylinder fitting closely within a tube in which it moves up and down against a liquid or gas, used in an internal combustion engine to derive motion, or in a pump to impart motion.”

That is the definition of a piston. I feel like if we're going to be talking about the Pistons, we should know the origin of the name!

 The Toronto Raptors were on a second night of a back to back, looking to have a smooth game (wasn’t so smooth) as they head back home to play the number one team in the Western Conference; Clutch City-The Houston Rockets on Friday. Will Friday night’s game be a preview of the 2018 NBA Finals? Maybe... lets see!

 (Jump Ball)

 The crowd chanting “Lets GO Raptors!” as JV heads to the line and sinks both shots. Scoring only a couple minutes into the game, must be a great feeling when you’re the visiting team. Wednesday night’s key match up was Jonas Valanciunas and Andre Drummond. Both played a strong game, putting up big numbers. Drummond of Detroit had 10pts & 21reb. Jonas finished with 14pts & 11reb including yet another 3-pt right in front of the Raps bench bringing the Raps within 1pt early in the 1st quarter.

 Eric Moreland was a blocking machine in the 2nd quarter! Moreland denied Van Vleet & threw the ball up the court to Ennis lll to regain the lead.

Pistons bench was +3 against the best bench in the league, the Raps. Going on an 8-0 run with 7:26 to play in the half. Detroit was out playing the Raps & if this were boxing they would have won this round. With a double digit lead, and a 16-0 run( 42-31) with 5:24 to play in the half, the Pistons had the Raps looking pretty defeated as all five players walk up the court. Casey then calls a timeout looking to get Toronto more energized.

 Serge Ibaka picked up a foul as what looked like, he was Blake Griffins grandson taking him out for a Sunday stroll by holding his arm for a good 15 steps. The hand holding defensive approach didn’t seem to work for Ibaka tonight, finishing with only 4pts. Annnd then late in the 2nd Serge gets thrown out of the game for... well we don’t know exactly why. It happened so fast. This is Serge Ibaka’s 6th time being thrown out. Official referee records cite “Other” for the ejecction of Ibaka, but watching the game it looks like he had a few choice words for the ref.

 Detroit up 59-45 at the half.

 Kyle Lowry started the 3rd quarter hitting a 3-pointer plus a foul for a 4-pt play. Not once but twice in three minutes. Getting the Raps going as they had a slow first half.  Lowry had a great game with 15pts & 15ast. From one all-star to another; Demar DeRozan was outstanding with yet another 30+pt game. DeRozan finished with 42pts, playing 43 minutes! This is what Raptors basketball looks like.  There’s even some talk of DeRozan being an MVP candidate this year!

 Norman Powell gives the Raptors the lead for the first time in the second half with 2:00 minutes left to play in the 3rd quarter. Raps up by 1pt, 85-84 with one frame left to play. Powell went off in the 4th quarter getting the fans on their feet and the players jumping higher. Detroit wasn’t going away easy, their defence intensity kept the Raps pushing hard against the Pistons as they outscored the Raps in the 4th, with new addition Blake Griffin putting up 31pts. Tied at 109 at the end of the 4th, Coach Casey calls his last timeout hoping to draw up a play that sends them back home earlier than later.

 C.J Miles inbounds the ball to DeRozan who’s guarded by James Ennis lll , spins and hits the 17 foot jumper putting them up by 2pts forcing Detroit to call a timeout. Now it’s their turn to draw up a play.

 As called, ball was given to Griffin who was fouled by JV and ties up the game with an AND1. Griffin hits the shot and takes the lead, 112-111.

 DeRozan brings the ball up the court and heads straight to the basket and finishes with a two handed slam and the foul to once again take the lead. DeRozan sinks the shot making it 114-112 with 4.6 seconds to play. Detroit calls their last time timeout. Once again ball is handed to Griffin where he banks it off the backboard tying up the game at 114.

 As good as DeRozan played in the last minute of the game, he passed the ball a little too hard, throwing it over Lowry, forcing a turnover -Detroit ball with 0.3 seconds to play in regulation.

 “OT,OT- there’s never much love when we go OT!” is exactly what I and the fans were singing (and in Drakes voice) once that 4th quarter buzzer hit. Fred Van Vleet shows up and saves the night with the game winning shot, giving the Raps the well deserved W. That was a heck of game!

 Wednesday night’s win meant the Raps clinched a playoff spot for the 5th consecutive season. The Raptors are playing great basketball this year, and I think they have a real shot of making it to the finals. The bench this year has really stepped up, winning some key games for the Raptors. This could be the key we were missing last year to get us through to the third round of the 2018 Playoffs.

  The wicked team of the West and wicked team of the East, square up Friday night in Toronto. The City welcomes the Beard & the Houston Rockets. I suggest to any one planning on watching the playoffs this year to watch Friday nights game.

Raptors 121-119 Pistons