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Raptors blow lead but still beat Pistons 116-107
TORONTO 116, DETROIT 107

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Kyle Lowry picked up his fifth foul
at around the midway point of the fourth quarter - then was
called for his sixth 20 seconds later.

It was the type of mistake that could prove costly for Toronto
in the playoffs, but this time the Raptors were able to overcome
it.

DeMar DeRozan scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter,
and the Raptors tied a franchise record for victories with a
116-107 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. Lowry scored 28
points before fouling out with 5:51 remaining.

"I was just glad the guys won it without me," Lowry said. "DeMar
was rested going into the fourth quarter, and he really took
over down the stretch. That's what happens when he is aggressive
- he can take over a game."

The Raptors (47-33) had already clinched the Atlantic Division,
and the victory over Detroit was their 10th in 14 games. Toronto
has reached the 47-win mark for the third time. The Raptors went
47-35 in 2001 and 2007.

Andre Drummond had 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons in
the final home game of their dismal season. Detroit's Josh Smith
missed a fourth straight game with tendinitis in his left knee.

Detroit trailed by as many as 18 in the first half but rallied
to take the lead late in the third quarter. But no matter what
the Pistons did, DeRozan always seemed to have an answer in the
fourth.

"I understood if we were going to win the game, then I had to
step it up," DeRozan said. "I just tried to make plays for us
and get a couple of easy baskets."

DeRozan's three-point play put the Raptors ahead 97-95 and
started an 11-2 run. His emphatic, right-handed dunk made it
107-99 and thrilled the vocal contingent of Toronto fans who
were in attendance.

"The fans were unbelievable," Lowry said. "I've never heard
anything like that, especially not here."

The Raptors shot 74 percent from the field during a brilliant
first quarter and looked headed for a blowout. A three-point
play by Terrence Ross put Toronto up 20-5, and an alley-oop to
DeRozan made it 28-12.

It was 42-26 at the end of the quarter, and DeRozan's four-point
play early in the second made it 46-28.

"We had no rhythm early on and we didn't guard. You give a team
42 points in the first quarter, I don't know what your chance of
winning is, but I would think in this league it's pretty low,"
Pistons interim coach John Loyer said. "Then you really have to
fight uphill the whole way. But to our guys' credit, they fought
an uphill battle."

The Pistons trailed 63-49 at halftime but made a game of it by
outscoring Toronto 37-24 in the third. Detroit dominated the
boards, finishing with 21 offensive rebounds. Greg Monroe had 23
points and 10 rebounds.

Lowry's fifth foul came with 6:11 remaining. He then fouled out
going after a rebound on a missed shot by DeRozan. The Pistons
couldn't take advantage, though.

After a free throw by Drummond cut Detroit's deficit to two,
Jonas Valanciunas answered with a free throw and Ross made a
3-pointer for the Raptors. A layup by Patrick Patterson made it
105-97.

NOTES: Detroit's Tony Mitchell had four fouls in 6:16 of playing
time in the first quarter. Then he didn't play again until the
final minute of the fourth. ... The Pistons weren't thrilled
with the officiating early. Monroe was called for a technical
foul in the first, and Detroit was charged with a team technical
in the second. ... Toronto has scored at least 100 points in six
straight games.

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