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Pistons ride strong bench to 103-87 victory over Raptors

DETROIT (AP) — Trey Lyles scored 21 points, Cade Cunningham and Hamidou Diallo each added 18 and the Detroit Pistons extending their surprising stretch by beating the Toronto Raptors 103-87 on Friday night.The Pistons are 5-3 in 2022 after finishing 2021 with 18 losses in their last 19 games. “We’re finally getting into a rhythm…

DETROIT (AP) — Trey Lyles scored 21 points, Cade Cunningham and Hamidou Diallo each added 18 and the Detroit Pistons extending their surprising stretch by beating the Toronto Raptors 103-87 on Friday night.

The Pistons are 5-3 in 2022 after finishing 2021 with 18 losses in their last 19 games.

” “We are finally getting into a groove and figuring out how to play together,” Diallo stated. “We have so many young men in our locker room, and they are realizing that this is a long season. You can’t get too high or low after one game.”

However, they were coming off a 133-87 loss in Chicago on Tuesday.

” “We’ve had more games recently where we’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to strike the opposing team right off the bat and tonight’s game shows that,” Lyles stated. “Obviously, we didn’t do that in Chicago, and we got embarrassed.”

Josh Jackson had 13 points off the bench as the Pistons held Toronto to 32.2% shooting. Lyles and Jackson played a key role in the win, as three of the starters were in foul trouble for much of the night.

“We are undersized every night, and tonight we had Trey at his size (6-foot-10) going against three 7-footers out there,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “So for him to get us 21 points and seven rebounds is a yeoman performance.”

Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 10 assists for Toronto, but shot 6 for 21 from the floor. Pascal Siakam added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost two straight after winning six in a row. Coach Nick Nurse stated that the Raptors must be prepared to go on the road and were not ready tonight. “Our energy was low at the start and we spent the whole night trying to find it.”

Scottie Barnes finished with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting in his return from COVID-19 and knee soreness. “Coming off the COVID-22 break, it was difficult to get my knee at 100%,” he stated. “I just have to be able to get back to trust my body again.”

Detroit built a 56-43 halftime lead — its largest of the season — by holding the Raptors to 28.6% shooting, including 2 for 9 for VanVleet. The Pistons also had a 22-7 edge in bench points for the half, including 15 from Lyles.

Detroit extended the lead to as many as 18, but had several key players in foul trouble. The Raptors got within 69-60, but their continued offensive struggles meant they trailed 83-66 at the end o

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