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Raptors defeat Pistons for second straight win

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Updated 10 months ago on
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TORONTO — The Detroit Pistons lost an important player for the season when point guard Brandon Jennings suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on Saturday.

D.J. Augustin, his backup, did his best to fill the gap on Sunday, scoring a career-best 35 points.

It was not enough, though, as the Toronto Raptors led most of the way for a 114-10 victory.

“I’m going to be myself, I’m not going to try to be somebody I’m not,” said Augustin, who shot 12-for-20 from the field, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, and added eight assists. “I’m going to play my game. It’s unfortunate what happened to Brandon but guys have to step up, everybody just not me. We have to do it as a team.”

DeMar DeRozan, a shooting guard who started at small forward, scored 25 points to lead the Raptors (29-15) to their second game in a row.

“Our defense is terrible,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It really is, it’s terrible.”

“They tried to do some different things, pick-and-roll wise,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “They tried to be a little different and it didn’t catch us off guard but it did hurt us a little. … I thought our guys did a good job, except for the last possessions where we gave up some key plays and fell asleep a couple of times.”

“When you come out early and play a lot of minutes, you get more comfortable,” Augustin said.

Augustin did not feel that the increased playing time he figures to have for the rest of the season will be a problem.

“I feel like I’m in good shape and (can do) whatever the coach needs me to do,” said Augustin, who logged more than 37 minutes on Sunday. “If he needs me to play 40, or 20, whatever he needs, I’m going to go out there to bust my butt to do it.”

“He handled the minutes fine and played well offensively,” Van Gundy said. “We played well offensively, we just played no defense. We couldn’t stop them at all. If you can’t win scoring 110 points, then you don’t deserve to.”

Center Jonas Valanciunas scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Raptors. Forward Amir Johnson added 17 points, guard Greivis Vasquez had 13, reserve guard Lou Williams 12 and point guard Kyle Lowry had 11 points with eight assists.

The Raptors shot 53.1 percent from the field but other statistics caught Casey’s eye.

“We had 23 assists and only eight turnovers,” Casey said. “The way we’ve been turning it over you would have thought we were IHOP.”

The Pistons (17-28) lost their second in a row despite 21 points and 16 rebounds from forward Greg Monroe. Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 16 points and center Andre Drummond 14 points with eight rebounds.

A big part of DeRozan’s game was getting to the free-throw line as he tries to find his rhythm after missing 21 games with a groin injury. He was 8-for-10 from the free-throw line on Sunday.

“I almost forgot how I used to get to the free-throw line,” DeRozan said. “It felt good. I just wanted to go out there and be aggressive. I came in (Saturday) night and got some work in. I was just working on my rhythm and working on a lot of in-game shots.”

The Raptors led 26-25 lead after the first quarter and 58-53 at the half.

The Raptors scored the first six points of the second half to increase their lead to 11.

Augustin cut the lead to five points with his third 3-pointer of the third quarter but Lowry boosted the lead to 13 with 2:42 to play in the third quarter. The Raptors led 89-79 after three quarters.

Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver hit a 3-pointer with 5:04 left in the game to trim the lead to five before Lowry got it back up to seven points with a driving layup. Monroe’s layup had the Pistons again within five points.

Caldwell-Pope had the lead down to four points with 2:08 to play.

When Augustin then made two free throws with 52.9 seconds left, the lead was down to three.

Johnson made both his foul shots with 38.7 seconds left to make the lead five points.

When Caldwell-Pope made his shot and hit the resulting free throw, the Pistons had cut the lead to two. Forward Terrence Ross clinched the win with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.

NOTES: Pistons G Brandon Jennings will miss the rest of the season after an MRI exam showed a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Surgery is needed. Jennings was injured during the third quarter of the loss at Milwaukee on Saturday. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said Jennings was playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 21 points and 7.4 assists in his past seven games. Van Gundy said the team will look into adding a point guard but has not determined how. … Raptors F Amir Johnson (shoulder strain) left a win at Philadelphia on Friday during the third quarter, but he was ready to play Sunday. …The Pistons will play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. …The Raptors will visit the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

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