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Shorthanded Raptors struggle in loss to Pistons

Toronto was without three of its top four scorers because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Coach Nick Nurse and most of his staff also were held out again.
Pistons center Mason Plumlee, right, dunks over Raptors guard Norman Powell during the first half Wednesday in Tampa.
Pistons center Mason Plumlee, right, dunks over Raptors guard Norman Powell during the first half Wednesday in Tampa. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Mar. 4
Updated Mar. 4

TAMPA — Wayne Ellington scored 25 points and the Pistons beat the virus-depleted Raptors 129-105 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Ellington was 8-of-11 from 3-point range, and the Pistons were 20-for-41 overall from long range. Detroit’s backups had 56 points, with Rodney McGruder and Saben Lee each with 20.

Starting guard Dennis Smith Jr. put up 10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Norman Powell had 36 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry had 21.

The Raptors played without Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, three of their top four scorers, and reserves Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Coach Nick Nurse and most of his staff also were held out.

Forward Yuta Watanabe got his first NBA start for Toronto but did not score. Guard Jalen Harris and forward Donta Hall, members of Toronto’s G-League team, were added to the roster for the game.

The Raptors’ biggest voids were on defense and rebounding. “We had a practice (Tuesday) to try to regroup a little bit, and it was really a pretty good practice,” said Sergio Scariolo, who directed the Raptors for the second time in Nurse’s absence. “But no excuses. We had enough players and coaches to have played a better game than this one.”

The Pistons shot 53 percent and had a 49-34 rebound advantage.

“We should have had more patience and selected better shots,” Scariolo said, “but you have to give credit to the Pistons. They played good defense, and they moved the ball really well.”

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night but was postponed because of the Raptors’ virus outbreak. Toronto’s scheduled Sunday night game against Bulls also was postponed.

— BY DICK SCANLON

DETROIT (129): Bey 3-9 0-0 7, Ellington 8-11 1-1 25, Plumlee 6-12 2-5 14, Mykhailiuk 6-11 0-2 17, Smith Jr. 3-9 2-2 10, Doumbouya 4-8 1-1 9, Stewart 3-5 0-0 6, Lee 8-11 4-5 20, McGruder 7-14 2-3 20, Sirvydis 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 48-91 13-21 129.

TORONTO (105): Powell 14-20 3-3 36, Watanabe 0-3 0-0 0, Baynes 4-7 4-4 13, Davis 2-11 2-3 6, Lowry 5-11 8-9 21, Bembry 0-1 0-0 0, Boucher 5-11 7-9 18, Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Thomas 4-7 1-2 11, Watson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-77 25-30 105.

Detroit 43 26 29 31 — 129

Toronto 37 23 20 25 — 105

3-Point Goals—Detroit 20-41 (Ellington 8-11, Mykhailiuk 5-9, McGruder 4-6, Smith Jr. 2-5, Bey 1-5, Doumbouya 0-4), Toronto 12-36 (Powell 5-8, Lowry 3-5, Thomas 2-3, Baynes 1-3, Boucher 1-5, Johnson 0-2, Watanabe 0-2, Watson 0-3, Davis 0-5). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Detroit 49 (Smith Jr. 12), Toronto 34 (Boucher 8). Assists—Detroit 39 (Smith Jr. 11), Toronto 17 (Lowry 6). Total Fouls—Detroit 28, Toronto 20.