Detroit Pistons vs. Toronto Raptors Pick & Prediction MARCH 13th 2024

While wins continue to be hard to come by for the Detroit Pistons, they have shown some progress in that department during their six-game homestand.

The Pistons opened that stretch Thursday with a 118-112 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. After getting blown out by the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, they bounced back with a 114-97 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

Detroit will try to continue its momentum on Wednesday against the visiting Toronto Raptors.

Detroit’s defensive effort against Charlotte was one of its best this season. The Pistons held the Hornets to 38.6 percent shooting and limited the visitors to four fast-break points.

“When you can hold a team to 97 points and (commit) 12 turnovers, for us it’s a huge deal,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said.

As usual, third-year guard Cade Cunningham led the way for Detroit with 22 points and eight assists.

Cunningham notched 1,200 points and 400 assists in his 54th game this season, becoming the fastest Pistons player to reach those marks in a season.

“Playing with a guy like that, it makes the game really simple for me and the team,” said Pistons center Jalen Duren, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds. “He gets it done every night.”

Duren bounced back after a rough outing against the Mavericks in which he was ejected during the fourth quarter.

“Just being better,” Duren said. “I hold myself to a very high standard. I know Monty holds me to a high standard. Just me being better in myself. Bringing better energy to the team and to the game. That’s what I was locked in on.”

The Raptors are staggering to the finish line. They’ve been struck by a wave of injuries with starters Scottie Barnes (hand), Jakob Poeltl (hand), Gary Trent Jr. (groin) and Immanuel Quickley (hip) among those sidelined.

The remaining Raptors still gave the defending champion Denver Nuggets a tough battle on Monday. Toronto led by 21 points in the third quarter but couldn’t hold off the Nuggets’ late charge in a 125-119 loss.

“An NBA game, you’re up 20 or down 20 the game is never over,” Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic said. “I know when they came out after halftime they were going to be more aggressive, and how to handle those moments is a learning opportunity for us.”

RJ Barrett led the Raptors with 26 points, seven rebounds and nine assists and Kelly Olynyk had 24 points and six rebounds.

However, Olynyk had the unenviable task of guarding All-Star center Nikola Jokic, who racked up 35 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists and six steals.

“It was obviously a great first half for us, everybody was into it,” Barrett said. “We knew in the second half they were going to be more aggressive, and I think they just showed their championship pedigree with the way they responded.”

The Raptors will seek to snap a four-game losing streak on Wednesday.

Each team has a victory over the other heading into the final game of the season series. Toronto won at home 142-113 on Nov. 19 and Detroit pulled out a 129-127 home victory on Dec. 30.

Both teams have undergone major roster reconstruction since those outings. Nine of the players who appeared in the last meeting are no longer on their rosters.

–Field Level Media

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