Detroit 108 Toronto 106
TORONTO — Saddiq Bey made a driving layup with 14.2 seconds left to put the Detroit Pistons up three points as they hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-106 on Thursday at Scotiabank Arena.
Bey scored 23 points in the win for Detroit (16-47). Jerami Grant added 26 points and Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, had a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Rookie Scottie Barnes, who was drafted fourth overall last year, scored 21 for Toronto (34-28), playing against his old high school teammate Cunningham.
Pascal Siakam led all scorers with 28 points, but had a frustrating night with the referees, eventually earning a technical foul for arguing with officials.
All of the Raptors appeared to be exasperated by the referees, with head coach Nick Nurse getting ejected from the game in the third quarter. The near-sellout crowd of 19,548 fans at Scotiabank Arena cheered for Nurse as he left the floor.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey smiled as Nurse left the floor.
Casey had been Toronto’s head coach with Nurse working as one of his assistants until the 2017-18 season when Casey was fired in the off-season. Casey now had a 9-3 record against the Raptors including six straight victories.
Nurse and Casey said before the game that the Detroit’s recent run against Toronto ultimately doesn’t mean much.
“They certainly play good and have played really good against us in different stretches, and we haven’t played as well,” said Nurse. “I don’t really have any explanation for it. We just need to do better.”
Added Casey: “We run a lot of the same sets, with different names. We run a lot of the same actions — that could be something to it, but nothing more than that. There’s no personal (thing).”
Detroit led 31-22 after the first quarter and saw that lead get cut to three points, 60-57, at the half as Gary Trent Jr. hit a three-pointer from the left corner with 1.4 seconds left to play in the second quarter.
The entirety of the first half was played without much flow as the two teams combined for 22 personal fouls, leading to choppy and uneven stretches of play.
Although the referees continued to be a factor in the second half, Detroit used a 14-4 run to start the third quarter to regain control of the game.
The Raptors did manage to cut the lead down to as few as two points, in the fourth quarter, but Precious Achiuwa missed some key free throws in the final period that could’ve got the Raptors over the hump.
Fred VanVleet missed his third straight game for the Raptors with a nagging knee issue and Toronto forward OG Anunoby missed his fifth straight game with a fracture in his right ring finger.
Toronto hosts the Orlando Magic on Friday. The Magic entered Thursday’s action with the worst record in the NBA.
Following that, the Raptors will embark on a six-game road trip beginning Sunday in Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers.