Raptors aiming to extend franchise-best winning streak
Toronto has 10 straight victories; hosting Pistons in finale of 7-game homestand
The Toronto Raptors will attempt to extend their franchise-best winning streak to 11 games when they host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday in the finale of a seven-game stretch at the Air Canada Centre (6:30 p.m. ET).
A win would pull the Raptors (31-15) even with the Toronto Blue Jays for the longest winning streak by a Toronto-based professional sports team.
The Blue Jays strung together 11 wins in a row twice in 2015 and have accomplished the feat five times overall.
All-star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been superb during the winning streak as the Raptors find themselves 2½ games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for best record in the Eastern Conference.
"We can't dismiss the fact these young men have strung together 10 [wins], the first time in 20 years," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said after Thursday's 103-93 victory over the New York Knicks.
"It's not the end-all, but it's an accomplishment."
The Pistons (25-22) fell 114-106 to the Cavaliers on Friday for their sixth loss in the past 10 games as they begin a three-game road trip.
Lowry is playing through a left wrist injury sustained against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 26, reminding DeRozan of last season's struggles when he missed time with a groin injury and Lowry spent time being hampered by back, shin and hand injuries.
"That's one thing we really sat down this past summer and told ourselves we were going to work on," DeRozan told reporters.
"We're going to have to be great for this team to take this next step. He did it with the weight loss, I did it with my approach to taking care of my body and really trying to elevate my game in different ways. And it's definitely showing."
DeRozan has scored 30 or more points four times during the winning streak while Lowry has topped 20 points on seven occasions.
Drummond was 'robbed'
Meanwhile, Detroit's fourth-year centre Andre Drummond is headed to his first All-Star Game — the first Pistons player to make the Eastern Conference squad since Allen Iverson in 2009.
Drummond is happy to be a reserve but point guard Reggie Jackson was highly upset that his teammate wasn't a starter.
"To me, he's been robbed," Jackson told reporters. "Definitely and undoubtedly he should've been a starter. We shouldn't even be sweating this day at all. If he's not in, then everybody is a bunch of idiots. I think everybody in the NBA knows he should be a starter."
- The Raptors have won five of the past seven meetings with Detroit.
- Toronto has won 21 consecutive games when holding the opposition under 100 points.
- Detroit SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 19 points against Cleveland and is averaging 17.5 during the past eight contests.
With files from SportsDirect Inc.