Raptors edge Pistons in OT, become first to clinch NBA playoff spot

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Mar 08 2018 12:43 PM

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Fred VanVleet made a jumper with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime, allowing the Toronto Raptors to extend their winning streak to six games with a 121-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

The Raptors also became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with the victory.


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DeMar DeRozan poured in 42 points and set up the go-ahead shot for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors. Kyle Lowry posted 15 points, six rebounds, 15 assists and four steals, Norman Powell had 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto.

Blake Griffin's 31 points led Detroit, which has dropped four straight and 10 of 12. Reggie Bullock contributed 21 points, Ish Smith and James Ennis added 14 points apiece and Andre Drummond had 10 points and 21 rebounds.

Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka was ejected in the second quarter for arguing with the officials.

Neither side scored in overtime until Drummond was called for goaltending against Pascal Siakim with 2:01 left. Smith answered with a jumper but DeRozan responded with a three-point play.

Griffin's three with 36.8 seconds left tied it at 119-all.

Bullock missed on an open three and DeRozan then penetrated and kicked it out to VanVleet on the left side for the game-winner.

Griffin's 3-point try at the buzzer bounced off the rim.


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Ibaka was tossed with 4:38 remaining in the second quarter after he picked up his third foul. That came at the tail end of a 22-2 Pistons outburst that gave them a 48-31 lead.

The game took a dramatic turn in the third quarter, as the Raptors outscored the Pistons 40-25.

Smith drilled a three to tie the game at 109-all in the late going. DeRozan then fired in a shot from the left side with the shot clock running and 18.2 seconds remaining. Griffin responded with a shot in the lane while getting fouled by Siakam. His subsequent free throw gave Detroit a one-point lead.

With the Raptors out of timeouts, DeRozan went coast-to-coast for a dunk and got fouled by Anthony Tolliver in the process. He then made the free throw with 4.6 seconds left.

Following a timeout, Griffin made a hook shot to send the game into overtime.

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