Pistons ride strong bench to victory over Raptors

DETROIT (AP) — The Trey Lyles scored 21 points, Kidd Cunningham and Hamido Diallo added 18, and the Detroit Pistons extended their surprising stretch with a 103-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

The Pistons are 5-3 in 2022 after finishing 2021 with 18 losses in their last 19 games.

Josh Jackson picked up 13 points from the bench as the Pistons held the Toronto FC Pistons with a 32.2% shooting lead. With three starters spending most of the night in trouble, Lyles and Jackson came off the bench to play an important role in the win.

Fred Van Vliet scored 24 points and 10 assists for Toronto, but hit 6 for 21 from the floor. Pascal Siakam added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost two consecutive points after winning six in a row.

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Detroit built a 56-43 lead at halftime—the biggest lead of the season—by carrying the Raptors on 28.6% of shooting, including 2 for 9 for VanVleet. The Pistons also had 22-7 points off the bench in the half, including 15 from Lyles.

Detroit extended the difference to as much as 18, but had several key players in trouble. The Raptors had a 69-60 bound, but their constant offensive struggle meant they trailed 83-66 at the end of the third game.

Jackson started fourth with a 3-pointer, giving the Pistons their first 20-point lead of the season, but Vanfleet’s 3-index put them 91-83 with 3:39 to play. Cunningham returned the margin to an 11 with a 3:41 left, and Detroit snatched the game from the free throw line.

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Raptors: Toronto was starting a five-game road trip and stretching eight out of 10 games away from home. … VanVleet entered the game after making at least four three-pointers in nine consecutive games, the longest streak in the NBA this season. He missed eight of his first 11 attempts, but expanded the record by three points with 7:06 to play.

Pistons: Detroit have won five of their last eight games, but all three losses have been by at least 29 points, including a 133-87 defeat by the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

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Birds of Prey: Visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Pistons: Host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday for a game originally scheduled for January 12.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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