Calderon sets record, but Raptors lose again
Jose Calderon scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists to become the Raptors all-time assists leader, but the Detroit Pistons prevailed 99-95 in overtime on Friday night in Toronto.
Calderon's driving layup with nine seconds left sent the game into OT, and his fine playmaking throughout the contest gave him 1,795 assists for his career, surpassing the franchise mark of 1,792 dimes held by Alvin Williams.
Chris Bosh scored a game-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds for Toronto (23-43), which lost its seventh straight game.
Afterwards, Bosh got snippy with a reporter who asked whether this latest defeat in a season full of them was particularly frustrating.
"Stop using that word, 'frustrating,' " Bosh snapped. "Jesus Christ, where do you all get that word, use another word, you all got a thesaurus around?
"I'm not upset. You compete, you play the game, you play to win; if you come up short then that's what it is. Nobody's frustrated around here. When you lose a game, of course you want to win, but it is what it is."
Tough break for Pops
The Pistons opened the overtime period with a 9-0 run before the Raptors closed the gap.
Bosh brought it down to two by making the first of two free throws with 15 seconds left. The star forward missed the second, but teammate Pops Mensah-Bonsu grabbed the rebound, only to have his potential game-tying shot blocked by Jason Maxiell.
Maxiell then alertly hustled up the floor for an outlet pass from Richard Hamilton and stuffed in an uncontested dunk to seal the game.
"[Mensah-Bonsu] made a great play. He made a spectacular play. It's just unfortunate what happened," Bosh said. "He brought a lot of energy for us and he's very valuable to us right now."
Hamilton finished with a team-best 24 points and a game-high 16 assists to help Detroit (33-31) complete a sweep of its four-game season series with the Raptors.
Rodney Stuckey (17 points), Maxiell (16), Antonio McDyess (16) and Tayshaun Prince (11) also scored in double figures for the Pistons.
"I think most importantly tonight, we really trusted ourselves," Hamilton said. "In overtime, we just trusted everybody; we trusted that guys would be in positions to make plays and we did."
Shawn Marion had 18 points for the Raptors, who host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon (CBC, 12:30 p.m. ET).
Flu flattens Bargnani
Toronto took a 45-40 lead into halftime, but lost starter Andrea Bargnani as the big man's flu-like symptoms forced him out after just nine minutes of court time.
"He came out and said, 'That's it, I can't go anymore,' " said Raptors coach Jay Triano. "It's unfortunate. That's a lot of points and scoring that we could have used."
Detroit took advantage of the void caused by the absence of the Raptors' No. 2 scorer, surging into an 82-73 lead with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But the Raptors clawed back into it. Bosh brought Toronto within three by nailing a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining, and Marion reduced the deficit to one by banking in a runner in the lane with a minute left.
Arron Afflalo responded with a wide-open three from the corner to put Detroit back up by four, but Marion scored with a spin move to make it a two-point game and Calderon tied it with nine seconds left by beating Stuckey to the bucket.
Hamilton then missed a pull-up jumper on the final possession, sending the game to overtime.
The Pistons came out firing in the extra session, scoring the first nine points on a pair of baskets each by Hamilton and Prince.
The Raptors, though, didn't quit. A Calderon triple and a pair of Bosh free throws made it a four-point game, and Marion split a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game with less than a minute on the clock.