Raptors’ Rebound Woes Continue in Loss to Pistons

Kelly Olynyk of the Toronto Raptors in NBA action against the Detroit Pistons (Source: X / @Raptors)

DETROIT – Despite a promising start, the Toronto Raptors found themselves ensnared in a familiar narrative of rebounding struggles and defensive lapses, resulting in a disheartening 113-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Jalen Duren, the rising star for the Pistons, stole the spotlight with a dazzling performance, notching a career-high 23 rebounds alongside 24 points and five assists. His dominance on the boards left the Raptors scrambling for answers throughout the game.

“We had it at 16 points — 53-37 — but we lost a little concentration at the end of the half,” lamented Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic. “That let them get it back to five.”

The Raptors’ inability to contain Duren, particularly on the glass, proved to be their undoing. Despite a commendable effort on the offensive end, spearheaded by Immanuel Quickley’s 25-point outing and Kelly Olynyk’s 19 points against his former team, Toronto faltered in crucial moments, allowing the Pistons to capitalize on second-chance opportunities.

“We had 32 assists, but we weren’t able to get enough on the glass,” acknowledged Rajakovic. “We allowed too many second-chance points. That was the biggest difference.”

Toronto’s woes were exacerbated by a lackluster third quarter, where they mustered a mere 22 points, allowing Detroit to seize control and establish an 83-79 lead heading into the final frame.

The Raptors attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but a barrage of timely three-pointers from the Pistons, notably from Marcus Sasser, extinguished any hopes of a late resurgence.

“Our guys fought hard, but we couldn’t sustain the momentum,” reflected Rajakovic. “Credit to Detroit for executing their game plan.”

With their fifth consecutive loss, matching a season high, the Raptors find themselves grappling with familiar challenges as they look to recalibrate and regroup ahead of their upcoming matchup against the Orlando Magic on Friday.

As the Raptors continue their quest to rediscover their winning form, the resounding message remains clear: unless they address their rebounding deficiencies and shore up their defense, their aspirations of climbing the standings will remain elusive amidst a fiercely competitive Eastern Conference landscape.

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