Detroit — Maybe Pistons coach Dwane Casey has the Raptors figured out.
The Pistons haven’t had a lot of wins this season, but two of their most impressive ones have come against Casey’s former team.
After notching an impressive 24-point win against the Raptors on March 3, the Pistons followed it up with a good shooting performance, with solid defense and good 3-point shooting. The Pistons put it together for a 116-112 win over the Raptors on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena.
It’s the fifth win over the Raptors for Casey as Pistons coach, including a three-game season sweep in 2018-19. The third meeting this season is March 29 at LCA.
Rookie Saddiq Bey had one of his best games of the season, with 28 points and tied his season high with 12 rebounds. Jerami Grant added 23 points and Delon Wright 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Pistons (11-29), who ended their four-game losing streak.
“It felt great to get a win coming out of the break; it’s been a rough stretch coming out of the break,” said Mason Plumlee, who had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
They made it interesting in the final minutes, though.
The Pistons looked to be in control with a 105-96 lead at the 3:42 mark of the fourth quarter, following a steal and lay-in by Josh Jackson (16 points, five rebounds and six assists). The Raptors (17-23) rattled off seven straight points, with two baskets by Chris Boucher (21 points). Jackson hit a big 3-pointer to push the lead to six, before fouling out on the next play.
The Raptors kept putting pressure on the Pistons and looked to create a cushion, with a six-point lead with 39.3 seconds left, but Norman Powell (career-high 43 points) hit a 3-pointer and was fouled. Powell missed the free throw and the Pistons held a 112-109 lead.
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Grant created some more space with a fadeaway jumper while falling down, for a five-point margin with 7.7 seconds left, but Powell answered with another 3-pointer.
Bey finished it off with a pair of free throws for the final margin.
Bey’s mix of inside-outside game has been a development this season.
“It’s being more versatile,” Bey said, comparing it to his approach in college at Villanova. “Find ways to stay aggressive and play at all three levels. I just have to get back to it.”
The Pistons led, 63-58, at halftime but the Raptors started the third quarter with a 10-2 run, with a 3-pointer and a lay-in by Powell, but the Pistons responded with seven straight points, punctuated by a three-point play by Plumlee.
The Pistons finished the quarter with a 9-4 spurt before Powell got the Raptors within 88-81 with a dunk.