Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Friday, January 4th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 15th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 26th
Game 4: Sunday, April 13th

Pistons 101

(26-7, 13-5 away)

Raptors 85

(17-16, 8-7 home)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    7:00 PM ET, January 4, 2008

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 22 26 21 32101
    TOR 19 20 25 2185

    Top Performers

    Det: R. Hamilton 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Tor: C. Bosh 23 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Blk

    Hamilton's 22 lead red-hot Pistons past Bosh, Raptors

    TORONTO (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons extended their winning streak thanks to an energetic performance by their bench players.

    Then they went home to prepare for another showdown with Boston.

    Richard Hamilton scored 22 points, Rasheed Wallace added 20 and the Pistons won their 11th straight game with a 101-85 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

    Just as important was the performance of Rodney Stuckey, Jarvis Hayes and Jason Maxiell, who combined for 26 points.

    That kind of play from reserves is what makes this streak more special than other runs the Pistons have enjoyed, forward Tayshaun Prince said.

    "We've done it in the past but what's really important about this time around is that the bench is a part of it like nothing else," Prince said. "They're in the games in crucial situations and they're making strong plays for us."

    Prince had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, whose streak is their longest since winning 11 straight in January 2006. Detroit hosts Eastern Conference-leading Boston on Saturday night.

    Boston won its eighth straight game Friday, improving to 28-3.

    "Boston's record speaks for itself," Prince said. "They're a great defensive ballclub. They can clog up the paint and really keep you away from the basket. It'll be a good test for us once again."

    Chauncey Billups had 18 points for Detroit, which has not lost since an 80-77 defeat at Houston on Dec. 12 and owns the longest current run in the NBA.

    "We're definitely satisfied with how we're playing right now," Billups said. "Who wouldn't be? Eleven straight games, that's an amazing feat in this league."

    Hamilton has averaged 21.6 points during the streak and has led the Pistons in scoring in the past seven games.

    "Rip is in a great rhythm and we're following his lead," Prince said.

    Toronto didn't go quietly, closing to 62-60 on a jumper by Jose Calderon with 1:54 left in the third quarter. That's when Stuckey replaced Billups and turned up the energy.

    After a 7-2 run gave Detroit a 69-64 lead after three quarters, the rookie had two steals, two assists and a breakaway layup on the first three possessions of the fourth as the Pistons pushed their lead back to 11.

    "He was great on both ends," Billups said. "He's so tough. He plays with a lot of fire. He brings a dimension to our team that we really need."

    Stuckey, who finished with eight points and six assists, enjoys his role as a late-game spark-plug.

    "That's what the bench is there to do," Stuckey said. "We come in and provide energy for our starters and give them a rest and that's what we did tonight."

    Chris Bosh had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Toronto, which has lost five of seven.

    Andrea Bargnani had 25 points in the first three quarters but missed the only shot he took in the fourth. His career high is 26, set Nov. 30 against Cleveland.

    "It took us 25 points to figure out he can shoot," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "What we did was just make a more conscientious effort to stay connected and Maxiell did a great job on him."

    Calderon had 15 points and nine assists and Jamario Moon had 10 points.

    Toronto's bench didn't come close to matching Detroit's, scoring a season-low five points, all of them from Kris Humphries and all in the first half.

    "You have to come off the bench and play with some energy," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "You've got to run, and if you run then guys like Carlos [Delfino] and Jason [Kapono] will get some shots."

    Toronto's bench has scored just 12 points in the past two games.

    The Pistons have won nine of their past 11 games against the Raptors.

    Detroit led 48-39 at the half.

    Game notes

    Portland won 13 consecutive games before losing at Utah last Monday, the longest winning streak in the league this season. ... Detroit is 18-2 against Eastern Conference opponents.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 101 85
    FGM-FGA 39-77 (.506) 33-80 (.413)
    3PM-3PA 8-16 (.500) 5-13 (.385)
    FTM-FTA 15-18 (.833) 14-22 (.636)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-14 6-15
    Assists 24 16
    Turnovers 7 4
    Steals 3 5
    Blocks 0 2
    Fast Break Points 10 0
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 18 1

    Top Performers

    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 22
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Chris Bosh Bosh
    Points: 23
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1