So no Rasheed Wallace for Pistons along with No A.I which we knew coming into this one. Perhaps a chance for the Raptors? I am not going to hold my breath or anything. However Chris Bosh will be happy as Wallace as always been a problem for him throughout his career. Let's get this one going and get closer to March Madness, The Draft Lottery and putting this awful season behind us. Is that very positive, not really but hey who doesn't feel that way at this point.
So off we go. Raps win the tip and score on first possession with a Bosh jumper. McDyess answers on the other end. A failed Raptors possession and a Rodney Stuckey score. Raptors after that first score have missed on next 5 attempts. But Detroit also a slow start and Shawn Marion would get a score and we were tied at 4. Rip Hamilton the nice feed inside to McDyess and the easy score. A.P with a blow by and a dunk and were tied at 6. Prince the quick release and score for 2. A miss turned into a quick two points for Jason Maxiell in transition. He would score again making it back to back baskets and a 12-6 Pistons lead. A Raptors score for two and Rip response for 2. Bargnani checks out and looks to still be under the weather. Not the weather CB4 did, but the suffering of flu like symptoms.
Calderon a pass for Jake Voskhul goes out of bounds turnover Raptors. Pistons can not take advantage. A broken play turns into 3 points for Calderon that has been a rare event of late. Uno Deux Trois? No that isn't it. Meanwhile Bosh gets a score and the lead is just one for Detroit. They would get back to back scores and push the lead back to 18-13. A.P gets some luck and gets a basket. Not sure how but 2 points is 2 points and the Raps will take it. Bargnani back in giving it a go would get a basket in response to a Pistons score. Jason Maxiell with a monster jam. Bargnani answers again. Marion the ugly looking runner but it falls. Rodney Stuckey answers the Marion score. Pistons lead 24-21. Stuckey called for offensive foul and I can't believe I am saying it but good defense by Jose Calderon. He earlier in the quarter tied Alvin Williams as the All Time assist leader in Raptor history. Quarter ended with Calderon looking to go in first all time hooking up Bargnani with a buzzer 3 ball but no dice.
Pistons shooting 54% and still only up 3. Not sure if that is good or bad. Bosh hits on a mini fading jumper. A 3 second call on Kwame Brown and a Pistons turnover. However Jason Kapono would turn it over in response. Pops Mensah-Bonsu making an impact as he scores back to back buckets to give the Raptors a 27-26 lead. Can we make it 3 in a row? To use the Obama line YES WE CAN. Pops with the steal and Jam for 2. JYD for the Y2K. E Smith is calling him the British Bulldog but I am not feeling that. Pops is from London England if you didn't know. Pistons were not worried with any of that and worked there way back in front 30-29.
Jose Calderon who has been missing in action even when he has been on the floor this year on this night was good and on both ends. He would hook up Jason Kapono who also has struggled all year. But on this play the two would combine for Raptor history. The Kapono make would give Calderon the team's all time assist lead. Now if only he could have the toughness and defense of the guy he passed I would be happy. On this night though he was getting it done. Raptors were hanging with the Pistons tied at 33. A clear path foul on Calderon of a turnover created by Pops gave Raptors a big chance to take control a bit. Calderon for whatever I say about him is money at the line. He makes both but Raps fail to convert on extra possession. A good defensive play by Calderon would turnover the ball and give the Raptors another chance to extend the lead but can not. Instead the Pistons would tie it. Bosh would break the tie and put the Raptors back up by 2 points.
Hamilton took a hit from Pops and he was hurting and maybe that is an excuse for going 1 of 2 from the line. Bosh would make a jump shot and Raptors were up 3. Rip Hamilton was not happy with some of the abuse he was taking and he let the refs know it and got a tech for his troubles. Calderon buries the tech and Raptors lead 40-36. Shawn Marion off a Bosh feed would make the lead a half dozen. Rip Hamilton still was angry and this time perhaps at himself as he turned it over. Raptors were up 8. Defensive 3 second call against Shawn Marion and the Pistons would get a free throw that they would make. A mistake a the end of the quarter allowed the Pistons to get an open 3 from Walter Hermann. Raptors still had a 5 point halftime lead.
Raps with a lead we have seen before but being able to finish teams off we have not. I have the same kind of confidence the Macho Man had in the Hulkster back in the day. Old fans of 80's wrestling will get that reference for everyone else it is not a good thing. Bargnani out for the rest of this one. When the crowd in the sushi section of the ACC would finally make it back for the second half they would wonder what the heck happened. Well actually seems a lot of them may not make it back. But when and if they do they would see that the Raptors were fading after a decent start. Rodney Stuckey made a jumper over Calderon and Pistons would lead 52-51.
Stuckey was not done with another basket he had a dozen in the game and Pistons a 3 point advantage. Calderon on the next possession would steal it from Stuckey and get tripped by him drawing the foul. It was a good battle between Stuckey and Calderon. Stuckey would get to the line and make a pair. Marion answered that with a basket and Pistons lead was 56-55. Bosh would drive and miss a runner. Jason Maxiell was making an impact again with a big jam. Maxiell had 14 off the bench for the Pistons at this point a perfect 7/7 from the field. A steal and a put back on a miss by Rip Hamilton that was cleaned up by McDyess. He would score again and Piston lead extended to seven. Bosh was on the bench with this going on. McDyess had 6 straight with another basket on a jumper. Calderon would finally offer a Raptor answer. However Rip Hamilton followed that up with a 3 ball and Pistons lead was suddenly 10 points at 67-57. Rodney Stuckey would be fouled by Joey Graham who was the invisible man in this game. Stuckey would split a pair at the line and the Pistons had a 16 point turn around and lead by 11 after 3 with the score 68-57.
Ugh. So would the Raptors show some fight? I won't lie I have seen the previews of this one they would. On Friday the 13the the Raps were more like Dr Jeckell and Mr Hyde than Jason. Roko Ukic with a pretty spin move and score. Rodney Stuckey answered Ukic. Bosh would do his own little spin move leaving Kwame Brown in the dust. Pistons lead was 70-63. Raptors would close even closer cutting the Piston lead to just 5. As quick as the Pistons built an 11 point advantage they were losing it. Ukic with another score and the Raptors were on a 10-2 run to start the 4th quarter.
Rip Hamilton would get to the line and try to stop the bleeding as he made a pair at the line. A Bosh miss would lead to open look for 3 for Afflalo but he would miss it. Bosh would get a second chance to score on the possession off the miss and he would make it. Pops was getting run in the 4th with no Bargnani. Pistons were trying to get back on track and had the lead back to 6 points. McDyess would extend that to 8 points. Roko Ukic would answer for the Raptors and it was 77-71 Pistons. Jose would come in for Ukic who did a good job in his time on the floor. Bosh would score and he had 20 points very quietly.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu is starting to catch on in T.O. He would get tied up with Rip Hamilton get called for a foul and crowd hated the call but was loving Pops. McDyess was having a great night and took advantage of the foul call making a jumper. Rip Hamilton would follow that up with a 3. Pistons lead was 9. Calderon would score and lead was back down to 7. He would drive and score plus a foul. Pistons would respond. But a Parker miss and Bosh follow jam. Raptors were hanging around down 85-80. Bosh would drive to the basket and draw a foul with 2:16 left to go. He would miss both but got the rebound and Bosh would get fouled again and get a redo at the line with 2:03 left. He would take advantage and make both. Rip Hamilton would air ball a runner. Shawn Marion would force a shot but no dice. Rip Hamilton would give the Raptors another chance and Raptors would get an offensive board off a miss. Shawn Marion would use the glass and get 2 points. Raptors had erased 10 of the 11 points they trailed by heading into the corner. Rip Hamilton would find an open Afflalo in the corner and unlike earlier he would drain the 3 pointer and put the Pistons ahead by 4 with under a minute to play.
In fact it was only 39 seconds to play. Shawn Marion would get a much needed quick score. Offensive basket interference on the Pistons and that would turn it over to the Raptors and give them a chance to tie or win it with 13 seconds left. Time out for the Raptors to draw something up. Calderon would just get the ball and get a quick drive to the basket and get the easy lay-up. Only problem was still 9 seconds left on the clock and Pistons called for time with a chance ot win it. Rip Hamilton would have a good look at it but he could not make it and we were going to overtime.
Case you were wondering the Raptors are 1-2 in extra time this year. I remember the one win but the two losses have blended in with all the others. An A.P miss and Rip Hamilton make. Matt Devlin reminded me of the two loses the V.C game with the reverse dunk and the meltdown in Boston. The win was against Golden State. Meanwhile in this one another Rip Hamilton basket and a Prince 3 ball and it was a 7-0 Pistons run to start the OT. Prince had been fairly quiet in this game normally he has been a guy that kills the Raps on a regular basis. Through 48 he had not but that 3 pointer was huge. Bosh had a jumper fall short and he would get called for a foul trying to follow his shot for a rebound. Prince had another 3 ball and the Raptors would need a Syracuse like comeback and I just don't think they have it in them. Calderon would make a 3 pointer and draw the Raptors to down 6 . Bosh would get fouled with 1:27 left in OT. Raptors down 97-91 with Bosh stepping to the line. Chris would make both and had 26 points despite a tough shooting night from the field. Rodney Stuckey had his shot partially blocked and it would go out of bounds. Marion got a piece of the shot. Rip Hamilton air balled a shot and it would fall in the hands of Pops Mensah-Bonsu who was playing in OT. That speaks to how much impact he has had and how little others have had. Bosh would spin an drive and have ball knocked out of bounds. McDyess would foul Marion and send him to the line. Marion would make the first and miss the second and Pops would get called for loose ball foul going for the rebound on the miss. Pistons would fail to take advantage. Bosh would get fouled and he was heading the the line with a chance to cut the lead to 1. The foul would end McDyess evening with his 6th. Bosh would make the first miss the second. Mensah-Bonsu got the rebound and decided to try to fire it back up and miss the Pistons go the other way and get a dunk in transition and that is about it with less than 7 seconds to play. Raptors would end up not being able to do anything more and loss it 99-95 in OT.
It was a game effort but in the end the same as the last 6 games as far as the result a loss. T.J Ford and the Pacers still battling to get into the playoffs come to town on Sunday. All the numbers below in the Boxscore.