Detroit Pistons defeat the Toronto Raptors for back to back home wins


DETROIT, MI – The Detroit Pistons defeated the Toronto Raptors 113-104 with balanced scoring from the starters. It was their 9th win since they began making trades January 14th shipping out Marin Bagley and Isaiah Livers to the Wizards.

Everyone one of the starters scored at least 12 points with Jalen Duren leading the way. He scored 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting, and pulled down a career high 23 rebounds for the double-double.

Duren’s performance is something expected by his coaches and teammates who knows he puts in the work daily.

”When he puts in the consistent work, he puts himself in a position to have nights like this,” Monty Williams said. “He’s been diligent. Coming into practice early, and staying after.”

And his front court teammate Isaiah Stewart was proud of Duren’s big night, but not surprised. In fact, he believes that Duren can put up these types of performances on a regular basis.

“With JD the skies the limit for him, Stewart said. “I’m excited for what the future holds for him. He’s capable of doing what he did tonight, every night. He’s a man child. I love JD and that’s my little bro.”

For Duren, he saw his big game as needed to get the win. His desire is to deflect personal praise and accolades to focus on giving his team all the credit.

“I just wanted to get the win, Duren said. “We talk about running through the tape as a team and ending the year strong.”

Cade the Leader

Star guard Cade Cunningham scored 19 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds in just three quarters. He chose to sit the fourth quarter in favor of teammate Marcus Sasser who had the hot hand late.

This team continues to show a sense of selflessness and support for each other that didn’t feel as authentic earlier in the season. But the players have spoken highly of the newer acquisitions and how they’ve contributed to the defense and hustle overall.

But Cunningham’s support of Sasser was very well received by his teammates, and shows the type of leader he’s growing into.

“Hats off to the second unit tonight,” Stewart exclaimed. “They continued to build the lead and give us a cushion. Cade was a great teammate and told coach to let Sasser finish the game tonight.”

Fans are the real MVP

The Pistons have been more outspoken of their philosophy to end the season by running through the tape. Rather than just getting the season over with, they want to sprint to the finish line. With not much to play for in terms of post season play, they are hoping to establish a foundation of all out hustle no matter the situation. Win or lose, the goal is to leave it all on the court.

But winning 3 of 4 games helps to better validate hard work and effort.

“This feels good,” Stewart said. “Winning feels good. We want to carry this momentum for the rest of the season and run through the tape.”

Despite this season not going according to plan, the Pistons feel a foundation is finally being formed. And they’re even more happy that the fans get to see things heading in a better direction than the historic losing from earlier in the year. A decent consolation prize for a fan base that has helped the Pistons home attendance rank top 20 in the NBA this season.

“I know they’ve been coming out to support us,” Williams said. Everything we’ve been through as a team it means a lot to have the fans come out to support us.”

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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network