Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Wednesday, November 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Sunday, December 27th
Game 4: Monday, April 12th

Raptors 94

(14-17, 5-12 away)

Pistons 64

(11-18, 8-6 home)

    Coverage: TSN2

    7:30 PM ET, December 23, 2009

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 25 29 20 2094
    DET 21 16 14 1364

    Top Performers

    Tor: A. Bargnani 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Blk

    Det: C. Wilcox 11 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Raptors-Pistons Preview


    With nagging injuries to three top scorers and five straight defeats -- all but one by double digits -- not much is going right for the Detroit Pistons.

    A visit from the Toronto Raptors could change their Pistons' fortunes.

    In the opener of a home-and-home series, Detroit will look to snap its skid Wednesday night by winning its 12th straight home meeting with Toronto.

    Detroit (11-17) seemed to bolster its chances to contend in the Central Division with the signing of Ben Gordon in July.

    Gordon is averaging 18.7 points, but has missed eight straight games and 10 of the last 13 with a sprained left ankle. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince have also appeared in a combined six games.

    Hamilton returned Dec. 12 from a sprained right ankle, but injured his right hamstring at Houston three days later. Prince hasn't played since Halloween because of an ailing back.

    Gordon and Hamilton, who has averaged 19.9 points during the home win streak over Toronto, will be gametime decisions. Prince is expected to miss his 26th straight game.

    Those absences have led to inconsistent offensive performances. After scoring 99.6 points per game during a season-high five-game winning streak, the Pistons are averaging 87.6 during their five-game skid.

    They endured their worst offensive performance of the season Tuesday night, falling 88-76 at Charlotte. Rodney Stuckey (20 points) and Will Bynum (12) were the only players in double figures for Detroit, which shot 37.8 percent.

    "It's not fun losing, and it does play on you a little bit," coach John Kuester said. "But these guys are going to bounce back."

    A similar performance Wednesday would likely help the Raptors (13-17) win three in a row for the second time this season. They beat New Orleans 98-92 on Sunday.

    Toronto is an NBA-best 10-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 points, a streak that includes the past two wins and a 110-99 home victory over the Pistons on Nov. 4.

    The Raptors held Detroit to eight points over the final 7:45 of that matchup. Chris Bosh 25 had points for Toronto, while Gordon led all scorers with a season-high 30 in a losing effort.

    Toronto, though, has allowed at least 115 points in three straight road defeats, and has lost its last 11 visits to The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Raptors haven't won in Detroit since April 2, 2003.

    The Raptors are hoping a less hectic schedule will improve their fortunes away from home. They played their first 30 games in 53 days but will play their next 30 over a 73-day span.

    "I'm hoping it means we're fresher for most games," coach Jay Triano said. "Instead of the number of back to backs you have, you get a little more focused on getting better as a team."

    The teams meet again Sunday at the Air Canada Centre.