Pistons rookie forward Andre Drummond tipped in the winning basket with 35 seconds, giving Detroit a 101-99 pre-season victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Detroit scored 60 points in the paint to Toronto’s 24 and out-rebounded the Raptors 47-32.
Centre Greg Monroe finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Drummond, the team’s ninth overall pick this year, scored 12 points on a 6-for-8 shooting performance while also grabbing seven rebounds.
All of Drummond’s points came around the rim, featuring dunks and crowd-pleasing alley-oops.
The Raptors were led by an aggressive DeMar DeRozan, who scored 17 points and got to the free throw line early and often, shooting 9 of 10 from the charity stripe. John Lucas chipped in 16 points off the bench.
DeRozan had a chance to win the game, but missed a fading jumper from the baseline. Jose Calderon then had another shot for the Raptors from long distance with seven seconds left, but also missed.
With Kyle Lowry still on the mend from a groin injury, Calderon started at the point position and notched 15 points and four assists.
Sophomore point guard Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Detroit got off to a quick start and led by as many as 12 points, but the Raptors drew even early in the second half on a 6-0 run.
The Pistons were able to capitalize continually in the post thanks to a passive defensive effort by the Raptors, especially on the pick and roll. This allowed Detroit to penetrate Toronto’s perimetre defence, get to the rim, and shoot 50.6 per cent from the floor.
Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas made his long-awaited NBA debut but scored just two points in limited action (13 minutes). He also blocked a team-best two shots.
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey suffered what appeared to be a scary knee injury at the end of the first half when Toronto forward Amir Johnson came down on his leg diving for a loose ball. Stuckey laid on the ground for a several minutes, but eventually walked off the court and returned to the game with no visible effects.