Monroe scores 24, Pistons beat Raptors 108-98
Posted at: 04/01/2013 10:39 PM
By IAN HARRISON
(AP) TORONTO - Greg Monroe scored 24 points, Jose Calderon had 19 points and nine assists against his former team, and the Detroit Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors 108-98 on Monday night.
Rodney Stuckey scored 18 points, Jonas Jerebko had 10 of his 15 in the fourth quarter and rookie Khris Middleton added 11 as the Pistons won for just the third time in 19 games.
Rudy Gay scored 34 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 17 and DeMar DeRozan 15 as the Raptors lost for the seventh time in eight games. Toronto was outscored 33-19 in the final quarter.
Detroit opened the fourth with an 8-2 run, turning a 79-75 deficit into an 83-81 lead and forcing Toronto to call timeout with 9:40 left after a reverse layup by Middleton.
The stoppage didn’t help Toronto, as Stuckey completed a three-point play, Calderon made a jumper and Middleton added another layup, making it 90-81 with 7:45 left and causing Raptors coach Dwane Casey to burn another timeout.
This time, Toronto responded, scoring six straight points. Calderon hit a 3 but DeRozan replied with consecutive jump shots, cutting it to 93-91 with 4:58 remaining.
Gay briefly gave restored Toronto’s lead with a 3, but back-to-back 3s by Middleton and Stuckey, and a jumper by Jerebko, made it 101-94 for Detroit with 2:29 left.
A three-point play by Gay cut it to 103-98 with 1:23 to go, but Jerebko threw down a put-back slam on Calderon’s missed 3 with 35 seconds left, killing Toronto’s comeback hopes.
Returning to Toronto for the first time since he was traded on Jan. 30, Calderon was honored with a standing ovation during pregame introductions and a special video tribute. Calderon spent 7 1/2 seasons with Toronto and is the team’s career leader in assists (3,770) and free throw percentage (.877).
Before the game, the Pistons announced that forward Jason Maxiell will miss the remainder of the season after surgery to repair a detached retina. Maxiell began complaining of blurry vision last week and didn’t travel with the team for Sunday’s loss at Chicago. He stayed in Detroit to visit a specialist, who diagnosed the injury.
Detroit was also without guard Will Bynum, who sat out with a strained right hand.
Raptors swingman Landry Fields was unavailable because of pain in his right elbow. Fields had surgery on the elbow last November, forcing him to miss 22 games. He skipped Monday’s game to travel to Los Angeles for follow-up testing.
Monroe scored 10 points in the first as the Pistons closed the quarter with a 6-0 run to lead 25-24. Gay scored eight points in the second and Kyle Lowry’s jumper with 10 seconds left gave Toronto a 55-54 lead at the half.
Detroit missed nine straight shots to start the second half, and Gay scored seven points as the Raptors opened the third with a 13-4 run, forcing the Pistons to call timeout at 6:02, trailing 68-58.
The Pistons recovered to make seven of their next nine shots, and Stuckey’s driving jumper at the buzzer cut it to 79-75 heading into the fourth.
NOTES: Detroit’s bench outscored Toronto’s 51-17. ... The Pistons played for the third time in four days. ... Calderon mistakenly started walking toward the Raptors locker room at the half, laughing when he realized his error. ... Blue Jays players Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus attended the game, as did Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)