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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 12.12.10
Raptors come back to clip Pistons
Bargnani 'knocking on the door' of stardom
It was one of the strangest games in the 16-year history of the Raptors.
One of the worst halves ever mixed with one of the team’s most thrilling.
Lucky for the Raptors the Detroit Pistons are one spectacularly awful basketball team and allowed the visitors to escape with a miraculous 120-116 win at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The comeback from 25 down was the largest in club history, eclipsing the previous mark of 22, set three times including last year against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Clutch shooting by Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless and a great defensive play by Leandro Barbosa on a bizarre alley-oop pass to Rodney Stuckey with Detroit down three with under 20 seconds to go clinched the thrilling comeback.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince.
“I just don’t know you walk off that court and lose that game.”
Raptors stun Pistons as they set record win
"Bargnani has increased his game from just a three-point, mid-range shooter to now, all-of-a-sudden looking to post up more,” said Pistons head coach John Kuester before Saturday’s game against Toronto.
Bargnani’s production has been huge, since the Raptors really don’t know what they are going to get on a nightly basis from everybody else.
“We’ve had a lot of guys that have not played well. I don’t think we can pin-point the same person two-three nights in a row,” said Toronto head coach Jay Triano.
“It’s like some guys get it going and two three more drop off and I think that’s just the development of our young players.”
Though Bargnani has been the best Raptor, Triano isn’t ready to anoint him a star just yet.
When asked if Bargnani has joined the league’s upper echelon of centres, he responded:
“I wouldn’t got that far yet. He’s gotten better every year and that’s a real positive,” Triano said.
“He’s got to rebound the ball better. I think he’s knocking on the door with the way he’s playing and scoring the ball.”
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
It may be too much to expect one game to turn around a season but as the Raptors waltzed off the court here Saturday night, hugging and high-fiving and laughing like they’ve seldom laughed this year, it may have been something a defining moment.
They had just stunned the Detroit Pistons with a record-setting 120-116 victory, rallying from 25 points down at one point, once against showing a resiliency that’s long been missing from this franchise.
All it took was one horrid half of turnovers and mistakes a nice little locker-room squabble to set them on their way.
“They were all pissed at each other and rightfully so and they were . . . going back and forth at each other,” coach Jay Triano said of the halftime chat when Toronto trailed 72-53. “The only thing I said to them was, ‘You know what, you can’t have this kind of fire with each other. You’ve got to have it with the other team. So take it out on the Pistons, don’t take it out on the guys you live with every day, take it out on the guys you’re playing against.’
“And they played much better in the second half.” There’s the understatement of the season.
“We just had to be accountable to ourselves and step up to the plate and we knew what we had to do,” said Amir Johnson of the halftime chat.
Raptors record comeback stops Pistons
Notice anything strangely familiar to, oh, every Raptors possession in that second half?
Pick and roll.
Roll and pick.
Pick and roll.
Not sure if it was every single time down the floor but it sure felt like it and it’s directly attributable to the two points guards they had to use.
It’s not that Jerryd Bayless or Leandro Barbosa don’t know all the sets in the book but they are far more effective running screen-roll stuff because both of them are fearless in attacking the basket and, every now and then, can find open shooters in the corners when defences collapse.
It’s not a really great idea long-term – eventually teams are going to figure it out as games go on and make adjustments – but you do what you have to under difficult circumstances.
And, believe me, watching them turn the ball over almost every other possession in the first half while the starting point guard was back in Toronto nursing a sore foot are indeed difficult circumstances.
Raptors complete record comeback to beat Pistons
Toronto shot 65 per cent from the floor in the first half, but committed 14 turnovers that led to 29 Detroit points. Meanwhile, the Pistons only turned the ball over once on their way to a 72-53 lead.
Detroit led by 25 midway through the third period, then faltered on defence. The Pistons' strong shooting kept the margin at 99-83 going into the fourth, but Toronto kept the rally going.
Bargnani's three-pointer pulled the Raptors within 106-98 with 8:18 to go, and ex-Piston Amir Johnson followed with a three-point play.
The Raptors cut it to 110-107, and Bargnani tied it with another three with 2:05 left. After a Pistons miss, Bayless hit a three-pointer and then answered Ben Wallace's putback to give Toronto a 115-112 lead with 49 seconds to go.
Stuckey made one of two free throws and Bayless did the same, leaving it a three-point game with 20 seconds left.
Tayshaun Prince threw away a lob on the ensuing inbounds play, and Bayless clinched the game from the line.
Pistons throw away 25-point lead against Raptors
For most of Saturday night, the Toronto Raptors played as though they were in a daze.
At the end of the evening, though, it was the Detroit Pistons who didn't know what to say.
Jerryd Bayless matched a career high with 31 points and Toronto pulled off the biggest comeback in franchise history, beating the Pistons 120-116 to end a four-game losing streak.
The Raptors trailed by 25 points midway through the third quarter and were still down 16 going into the fourth, but stormed back for just their third road win of the season.
"We just came together - that's all I can say," said ex-Piston Amir Johnson. "We were shooting the ball well, but we were having problems on defense. We knew we had to start getting stops, and we stepped up."
This season may as well be over for the Pistons, and if the team had more than a lame-duck owner in place, heads might be rolling.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 99-83 lead against Toronto, the Pistons were outscored, 37-17, in the final period and lost, 120-116, on Saturday night at the Palace.
At one point, Detroit had taken a 25-point advantage, leading, 89-64, with 5:51 left in the third quarter. The Pistons (7-18) had dominated most of the game, using the Raptors' first 14 turnovers to score 29 points in building a 72-53 halftime lead.
It was the largest comeback in Raptors history.
"That first half was as good an offensive half as we've had all year," said Pistons coach John Kuester. "We were clicking on all cylinders -- 12 assists, one turnover. We were really doing a good job with the basketball.
"The problem was we gave them momentum with that 6-0 run at the end of the third. All of a sudden, a 22-point lead turns to 16 and puts them within striking distance. Give them credit. They made shots. They did some outstanding things."
Said Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, who scored 12 points: "I think what happened was self-explanatory. I won't say a tale of two halves because I thought we came out in the third quarter and tried to put a stamp on the game.
"They have that type of firepower offensively to make that happen, but ... that's unexplainable. That's typical of what has been going on this season. I can't explain it. I'm pretty sure you guys will try to explain it."