Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/14

Game 1: Wednesday, January 14th
Game 2: Friday, January 30th
Game 3: Friday, April 9th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 13th

Raptors 91

(19-17, 7-11 away)

Pistons 95

(26-13, 16-5 home)

7:30 PM ET, January 14, 2004

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
TOR 24 25 23 1991
DET 21 17 28 2995

Top Performers

Toronto: D. Marshall 20 Pts, 16 Reb, 3 Blk

Detroit: M. Okur 27 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Okur scores career-high 27 in win

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Mehmet Okur had his best game when the Detroit Pistons needed him most -- in the final period.

Okur had a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Pistons to their 10th straight win, a 95-91 comeback victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Okur, in his second NBA season, had 14 points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter after the Raptors scored the opening basket to take a nine-point lead.

"They couldn't guard him, they couldn't stop him, they couldn't keep him off the boards," teammate Chauncey Billups said. "He was dominant."

After the start was delayed 29 minutes because of a snowstorm, the Raptors led much of the way. They had double-digit leads in the third quarter and stayed ahead until midway through the fourth.

But Detroit rallied to extend its longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row during the 1990-91 season.

"That's one of the best wins of the year," Pistons coach Larry Brown said.

Okur's two free throws capped an 11-1 run, which put Detroit ahead -- for the first time since the first quarter -- 77-76 with 7:06 left.

"I tried to be a superstar," the native of Turkey said with a grin. "I felt great out there."

Okur was 7-of-13 from the field and 13-of-14 at the line.

"If you don't guard him, he can score inside and he can score outside," said Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill, a former Pistons assistant. "He didn't surprise me at all."

Richard Hamilton, who also scored 27 points, made two mid-range jumpers and a free throw in the final minute to seal the win.

Alvin Williams had a chance to tie the game when he stole a pass, but he missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Vince Carter scored 27 points, Donyell Marshall had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Jalen Rose added 17 points for the Raptors, who had won five of seven.

"When the Pistons got unruly and started cursing at the officials, they started getting calls," Rose said. "At one point, Hamilton cursed at the officials and got three straight calls.

"They had three guys shoot about 40 free throws, and none of them were post-up players. I didn't understand that."

The Pistons were 32-of-41 at the free throw line, and Toronto was 17-of-21.

Detroit won without its leader on the floor, and thousands of its fans.

Ben Wallace was ejected late in the first half for arguing with an official about a call, then lightly kicking the basketball down the court. He was upset about a charge call.

The start was delayed because the officials arrived late after being caught in the snowstorm. It took them more than four hours to drive from the airport, a trip that usually takes about an hour.

The Palace is often filled for home games, but the heavy snowfall left the upper deck almost empty and the lower level with several patches of empty seats.

One fan held a sign that read: "We Risked Our Lives To See Win # 10."

The game marked the first time O'Neill faced the Pistons, with whom he was an assistant on former coach Rick Carlisle's staff the previous two seasons.

Game notes

Okur's previous career high was a 22-point game against the Los Angeles Lakers last season. ... Detroit has not lost since Dec. 26 against New Jersey. ... In the first quarter, Marshall grabbed nine rebounds, one short of the team record for a period, and had a double-double just a few minutes into the second quarter. ... Pistons reserve Corliss Williamson scored 14 points, and Billups 13.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 95
FGM-FGA 34-83 (.410) 30-79 (.380)
3PM-3PA 6-14 (.429) 3-14 (.214)
FTM-FTA 17-21 (.810) 32-41 (.780)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-39 16-54
Assists 18 15
Turnovers 8 11
Steals 4 3
Blocks 6 5
Fast Break Points 1 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 18 (4/0)

Top Performers

Donyell Marshall Marshall
Points: 20
Reb: 16
Ast: 0
Stl: 0
Blk: 3
Mehmet Okur Okur
Points: 27
Reb: 14
Ast: 0
Stl: 2
Blk: 1