Review Written by Adam Garfield (@AdamThe6God)
Jonas Valanciunas, Norman Powell, and Kyle Lowry made their presence felt early in the 1st quarter of the game. JV recorded 8 points, and Lowry put up 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Powell was inserted back in the starting lineup and he was playing with a chip on his shoulder. Norm dropped 5 points early on in the quarter looking to prove his doubters wrong. Detroit's Reggie Bullock caused some trouble for Toronto as he was able to score 9 points. The Raptors led 27-23.
The Pistons took control of the game during the 2nd quarter, doubling the amount of points the Raptors scored. Detroit had nine different players score in the quarter, led by Blake Griffin's 9 points. With around 10:16 remaining in the half, Detroit's Eric Moreland hyped up the Pistons bench and crowd as he has a huge block on Jakob Poeltl. Moreland slapped the ball right against the backboard, which really gave Detroit the momentum. Toronto trailed the Pistons 45-59 going into halftime.
The Raptors absolutely exploded in the 3rd quarter as they tallied up 40 points. DeMar DeRozan led the team with 14 points, and Kyle scored 10. Powell played great in the quarter as he dropped 7 points. At the 9:09 mark in the period, Norm split through the defense of Ish Smith and Luke Kennard and cut towards the basket. Valanciunas hit him in stride, and Norm flushed down the dunk. After this monster offensive quarter. The Raptors led 85-84.
DeRozan owned the 4th quarter, and that's about all that can be said. The kid from Compton dropped 14 points, scoring 8 of them in the final two minutes of regulation. After Smith hit a clutch three-pointer, DeRozan answered back with an incredible shot. DeMar twisted midair and knocked down a jumper in the face of James Ennis III with 18.2 seconds remaining. Griffin then answered back with a fade-away shot over Pascal Siakam to tie the game up at 111-111. DeMar then went the full length of the court and threw down a nasty, ferocious dunk over Pistons' Anthony Tolliver. This might go down as the dunk of the year due to the circumstances of the game and the height DeRozan has reached. DeMar was fouled on the dunk, and proceeded to hit the free throw to lead the Pistons 114-112. With .9 seconds left in regulation, Griffin knocked down a hook shot over Siakam again to send the game to overtime. The score was 114-114 heading into overtime.
Overtime started out very sloppy, both teams failing to score for the first three minutes. With 1:37 left, DeRozan nailed a jumpshot after getting fouled by Reggie Bullock. DeMar knocked down the free throw to put the Raptors up by 3. The Pistons fired back as Blake Griffin drilled a three-pointer over JV to tie the game up with 37 seconds left. With 6.1 seconds remaining, DeRozan drove down the court and into the paint. He drew four defenders in to him, which allowed Fred VanVleet to get open. DeMar found him open in the corner, and ice cold Freddy drilled the game winning bucket. Blake Griffin missed the game winning shot, resulting in a Toronto win. The Raptors defeated the Pistons in 121-119 in overtime victory. The Raptors become the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff spot.
DeMar DeRozan showed just how amazing he really is as both a player and a person. After going public with his battle with depression, DeMar motivated other athletes to share their thoughts and feelings regarding this issue as well. Athletes inspired by DeRozan included Cleveland's Kevin Love and Washington's Kelly Oubre Jr. DeMar dropped 42 points in this game, and absolutely dominated in clutch time. His impact on both the community and the court will never go unnoticed.
DeMar DeRozan: 42pts, 6 assists, 43 minutes played
Kyle Lowry: 15pts, 7 rebounds, 15 assists
Norman Powell: 17pts, 4 assists
Jonas Valanciunas: 14pts, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks
Pascal Siakam: 8pts, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Fred VanVleet: 6pts, 5 rebounds, game-winning shot
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