|1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET20:00 GMT4:00 1:00 PM MST3:00 PM EST0:00 UAE (+1)21:0016:00 ET2:00 PM CT19:00 , March 17, 2019
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 19,277
Pistons know they will need to be better against Raptors
Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons
- The Raptors have a chance to win 50 games for the fourth consecutive season, after having zero 50-win seasons in the first 20 seasons of the franchise's existence. Toronto is 215-100 (.683) since the start of 2015-16 -- entering games on Friday, only Golden State had a better mark over that time, 244-69 (.780).
- Kawhi Leonard has played exactly 50 games with Toronto, averaging 27.0 points per game. The only active player with a higher scoring average through 50 career games with any team is LeBron James, who averaged 27.4 points in his first 50 games with the Lakers.
- Since the All-Star break, Danny Green is shooting 51.9 percent (28-for-54) from three-point range. Entering games on Friday, his percentage ranked first in the NBA (min. 50 three-point attempts).
- The Raptors are 0-2 against the Pistons this season, including a 112-107 (OT) loss on March 3. Prior to this season, Toronto had won its last six games in a row over Detroit. A win would give the Pistons their first season-series sweep against the Raptors since 2008-09 (3-0).
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Blake Griffin fears the Detroit Pistons will get blown out for the third time in four games on Sunday if they don't dramatically improve their level of play.
The All-Star power forward was not even pleased with his team's performance in a 111-97 victory against the injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Lakers played without LeBron James and several injured regulars, but the Pistons had trouble putting the game away. Detroit will now play host to one of the league's top teams, the Toronto Raptors, before embarking on a five-game road trip.
"(The Lakers) got two guys out for the season, resting their best player, playing some call-up guys, from what I heard got in at 4 in the morning - and they played harder than us for most of the game," Griffin said, according to nba.com. "Obviously, you take the wins but you've got to be playing with the right spirit and playing the right brand of basketball.
"I didn't think we did that (Friday). I could be wrong. Once I see the tape, I could be a little too hard on us. But I know what's around the corner. We play that type of basketball, we'll get run out of the gym."
Griffin, facing frequent double teams, produced a subpar performance. He shot 3-for-12 from the field and missed five free throws while scoring 15 points. He also committed four turnovers.
Reserve guard Langston Galloway bailed out the Pistons by scoring a game-high 23 points off the bench, one shy of his season high.
"You're not going to play 48 minutes of perfect basketball," Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. "I wish we could. But that's not going to happen this time of year. Right now, it's about finding a way to win. (Friday) was L.G.'s night. Sunday may be somebody else's night."
The Pistons found a way to beat the Raptors at home earlier this month, though it certainly helped that Toronto sat out star forward Kawhi Leonard as part of its load management strategy. Detroit won 112-107 in overtime with Griffin scoring 27 points.
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored a season-high 35 points in that game, but he missed the team's last outing. He sat out a 111-98 victory over the Lakers on Thursday with an ankle injury and is questionable to play on Sunday.
Power forward Serge Ibaka will sit out Sunday's game as he continues to serve a three-game NBA suspension.
Leonard had a team-high 25 points against the Lakers. Power forward Pascal Siakam scored 16 points but shot just 3-for-16 from the field. He still played 39 minutes, which he views as a sign of respect from head coach Nick Nurse.
"I'm used to, if I miss two shots, I'm out," he quipped. "The thing with me is I can miss shots but there's other things that I bring to the table that's definitely going to have the coach (keep) me out there."
Center Marc Gasol, acquired just prior to the trade deadline last month, contributed 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists against the Lakers.
"We're still figuring things out," Siakam said. "With the type of players that we have, it's definitely going to take a little bit of time, just figuring out each other's spots and stuff like that. But I think we're doing a decent job and we're going to continue to get better. Come playoff time, we've just got to be ready."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 16, 2019