Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/6

Game 1: Monday, January 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, April 1st
Game 4: Wednesday, April 2nd

Raptors 74

(8-27, 4-15 away)

Pistons 82

(22-10, 13-3 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 6, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 17 23 16 1874
    DET 19 20 16 2782

    Top Performers

    Toronto: J. Williams 13 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Detroit: C. Robinson 25 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Pistons send Raptors to 11th straight loss

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Antonio Davis can sense it, and believes opponents can as well. The Toronto Raptors are not playing to win -- they're playing not to lose.


    Clifford Robinson had season-highs with 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons pulled away from the Raptors with an 82-74 win Monday night, handing them their 11th straight loss.

    The Raptors had numerous small leads, and were never out of it until being outscored 11-1 in the final 3:32.

    "Teams can feel it. They start to relax, and we start to tighten up a little bit more,'' said Davis, who had 21 points and eight rebounds. "We have a playoff look on our face. They have a relaxed look on their face.

    "They have the confidence that we're going to make mistakes, and we end up making them.''

    After a few lead changes and ties in the fourth, two defensive plays put the Pistons ahead for good.

    Richard Hamilton stole a pass, was fouled and made two free throws to put Detroit up 75-73 with 2:23 left. Chauncey Billups blocked a shot, and put Detroit up by four on a layup with 1:11 to go.

    Robinson's 3-pointer gave the Pistons an 80-74 lead with 47 seconds left.

    "Cliff Robinson had a monster game,'' Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said.

    Wilkens agreed with Davis' assessment that Toronto played not to lose down the stretch.

    "That can happen late in the game, you might get anxious to make it happen right now,'' Wilkens said. "That's when you have to be real patient.''

    The Raptors have lost 17 of 19 and seven straight on the road with an injury-plagued lineup. Despite their struggles, Toronto general manager Glen Grunwald said before the game he was not contemplating making a coaching change and Wilkens said he was not worried about his job security.

    Wilkens said the latest loss stings more than the others.

    "It does because we felt we could get this,'' he said. "For those 44 minutes, we played pretty good basketball.''

    Detroit has won 10 of 13 and is 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.

    "We really needed this before we go on the road for two tough games,'' Robinson said.

    The Pistons, who are a game behind Central Division-leading Indiana, play Wednesday at Philadelphia and at New Orleans on Friday.

    Hamilton scored 16 points, and reserve Corliss Williamson added 12.

    Toronto's Alvin Williams had 14 points and Jerome Williams added 13.

    Vince Carter, who did not make the trip, missed his 25th game with an injured right knee.

    Game notes

    The Pistons placed center Zeljko Rebraca on the injured list Monday with an irregular heartbeat, and activated point guard Pepe Sanchez. ... Toronto lost for the seventh time when playing on consecutive days. ... There were 11 lead changes and nine ties. ... The Pistons, the league's top defensive team, held Toronto to 39.5 percent shooting. ... Robinson's last double-double came when he had 30 points and 10 rebounds on Nov. 26, 2001, in a win at Orlando.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 74 82
    FGM-FGA 30-76 (.395) 32-72 (.444)
    3PM-3PA 1-8 (.125) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 13-17 (.765) 15-21 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-41 11-41
    Assists 16 17
    Turnovers 14 10
    Steals 5 8
    Blocks 9 8
    Fast Break Points 1 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Jerome Williams Williams
    Points: 13
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Clifford Robinson Robinson
    Points: 25
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2