(The Sports Xchange) - DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points as the Toronto Raptors held off a late charge by the Detroit Pistons to improve their franchise-record winning streak to 11 games with a 111-107 home victory on Saturday.
The Raptors (32-15) concluded a seven-game home stand with the triumph over a Pistons team coming off a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday to move further clear of their previous best winning streak of nine set in 2002.
“This was positive, the whole thing, taking care of business at home,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters.
“That’s very important. As much as the winning streak or anything like that, we have to make sure we treat our fans to quality basketball, but that last quarter wasn’t quality.”
Guard Kyle Lowry added 18 points for Toronto and guard Cory Joseph provided 16 points off the bench.
Raptors reserve center Bismack Biyombo scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots, forward James Johnson added 11 points and forward Luis Scola had 10.
“We took advantage of (the homestand),” guard DeRozan said.
“Now it’s time to go on the road and do what we have to do there. We dropped a couple of home games early in the season and the coaching staff stressed that we have to be more conscious of taking advantage of home court.”
Guard Brandon Jennings scored a season-best 22 points off the bench to lead Detroit (25-23).
Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 15 points, forward Marcus Morris and guard Reggie Jackson each contributed 13 points, while reserve forward Stanley Johnson scored 12 and forward-center Aron Baynes had 11.
Pistons center Andre Drummond scored 11 points and nabbed 12 rebounds before fouling out of the game with 6:37 left in the fourth. It was his league-leading 39th double-double.
The Pistons, who are only the fourth team in a playoff position the Raptors have played on their winning streak, never led but did get as close as two points during the second and third quarters.
The Raptors opened a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Pistons cut it to six on a three-pointer by Jennings with 8.9 seconds left.
Swingman Darrun Hilliard trimmed the lead to four after a steal but DeRozan hit two free throws with 5.5 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“It’s definitely frustrating, a couple of calls didn’t go our way,” Jennings said. “We fought.”
Jennings had eight points in the fourth quarter, in which he made two of his five three-pointers.
“The toughest thing is coming off the bench,” Jennings added. “I’ve got to try and find that rhythm. Usually in those first two minutes, I‘m kind of passive but I was trying to be more aggressive.”
Editing by John O'Brien