Fred VanVleet scores 35, Raptors hold off Pistons

TORONTO – Fred VanVleet scored 16 of his 35 points in the first quarter and the Toronto Raptors held on to defeat the visiting Detroit Pistons 119-118 Sunday afternoon.

Pascal Siakam added 28 points for the Raptors, who have started their five-game homestand 2-1. Scottie Barnes contributed 20 points for Toronto and Precious Achiuwa had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 33 points for the Pistons. Alec Burks added 21 points, Hamidou Diallo and Jaden Ivey each scored 18 points and Isaiah Stewart had 16 points.

After the Raptors led by 14 early in the fourth quarter, Detroit trimmed the deficit to nine with 3 minutes 4 seconds left. VanVleet answered with a 13-footer. Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six with 1:08 to play, and Ivey’s three-pointer trimmed the margin to 116-113 with 10.1 seconds remaining.

After the Raptors put it out of reach with free throws, Ivey hit another 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Detroit’s Jalen Duren injured his ankle during the second quarter and returned in the third quarter. He finished with six points.

The Raptors were without coach Nick Nurse (personal reasons) and were led by assistant coach Adrian Griffin. Gary Trent Jr. (calf) and O.G. Anunoby (wrist) did not play for Toronto.

Toronto shot 48.3 percent (42-for-87) from the field. Detroit shot 50.6 percent (40-for-79), including 53.7 percent (22-for-41) in the second half.

Toronto led 31-29 after one quarter. Diallo opened the second quarter with a jumper to tie the game.

Toronto opened a five-point lead with 9:00 to play, but the Pistons came back to take a 51-47 with 1:37 remaining on Bogdanovic’s three free throws. Toronto answered with a 6-1 spurt to lead 53-52 at halftime.

Toronto used an 8-0 surge to take a 67-58 lead with 7:48 left in the third quarter. Siakam’s layup had Toronto ahead by 10 points with 4:26 remaining, and Toronto led 84-77 after three quarters.

The Raptors opened the fourth quarter on an 8-1 run to lead 92-78. Detroit reduced the margin to five points on Diallo’s layup with 7:39 remaining. Achiuwa’s layup gave Toronto a 13-point lead with 4:22 to play.

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