Raptors end seven-game road losing streak

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Bill Fitch gets another 48 hours in
the NBA record book.

Thanks to Toronto's 89-78 win over the Detroit Pistons on
Wednesday night, Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens will stay tied with
Fitch's 1,106 career losses until at least Friday.

"I'm perfectly happy to make the media follow me around for one
more night," said Wilkens, who broke the record for career
victories in 1995. "I don't think the guys were trying to win this
one for me, though. I certainly didn't ask them to do it."

Wilkens tied Fitch in Tuesday's 92-85 home defeat to the
Pistons, and with the Raptors coming in 0-14 in the second half of
back-to-back games, things didn't look encouraging.

But Vince Carter scored 18 points and Jerome Williams had 11
points and 16 rebounds as the Raptors took control early and never
looked back.

Williams, who had two rebounds in Tuesday's loss, had 14 in
Wednesday's first half.

"I felt like I needed to redeem myself after a terrible game
last night," he said. "The difference tonight was our intensity.
In a lot of games, we only play hard in spurts, but tonight we had
it going all game long."

Wilkens was happy to see Williams back in form after Tuesday's

"Jerome really wasn't himself last night, so it was good to see
him back to normal tonight," Wilkens said. "He was certainly
focused and he was very active on the boards."

Michael Bradley and Voshon Lenard had 16 points each for
Toronto. Bradley, who spent most of the season playing power
forward, has been starting at center with Antonio Davis sidelined
with a groin injury.

"I played center in college, and even if I'm not 300 pounds, I
think I can hold my own out there," said Bradley, who set a
career-high in points. "Ben Wallace is a better matchup for me
than Cliff Robinson and Corliss Williamson anyway; it would be
tough to chase Cliff around the perimeter."

Detroit, which saw its Central Division lead shrink to 3½ games
over Indiana, got 16 points each from Chauncey Billups and Richard
Hamilton. Wallace added 13 points and 17 rebounds.

"We obviously didn't play as well as we wanted to," said
Pistons coach Rick Carlisle. "It's unfortunate to come home and
have an effort like that, but when you lose three out of four
quarters and get outrebounded by 19, you aren't going to win very

Billups felt that the Pistons might have lost the game in the
fourth quarter Tuesday, when they let the Raptors mount a late
charge that felt just short.

"They got a lot of momentum at the end of that game, and they
just kept it going tonight," he said. "At the end of that game,
they had to be thinking they only needed two more minutes, and they
got 48 more tonight."

The Pistons scored the first six points of the game, but Toronto
led 24-19 by the end of the first quarter.

The Raptors kept up the pressure, outscoring Detroit 27-17 in
the second quarter to take a 15-point halftime lead, and they led
by as many as 24 in the third period.

"I think we've gotten a comfort level where we think we can
fall behind and still come back and win," Robinson said. "But
that can't be the way we play. This team has to play 48 minutes
very night."

Toronto still led by 18, 74-56, going into the fourth quarter
and Detroit never seriously threatened.

"We've had some courageous wins this year. We won in Washington
with five guys and three 10-days," Wilkens said. "But this is
right up there with them."

Game notes
The Raptors host San Antonio on Friday. ... Williams,
who had as many rebounds in the first half as the entire Pistons
team, tied a team record with 14 in a half. ... Jon Barry, Cliff
Robinson and Voshon Lenard all picked up technicals for arguing
calls in the second quarter. ... Detroit's Mehmet Okur missed the
game after spraining his ankle in Tuesday's win over the Raptors.
... The Pistons had a five-game winning streak against Toronto
snapped, but still won the season series 3-1.


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