DeRozan scores 42, VanVleet makes winning shot for Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) hangs ofrom the rim after a dunk against the Washington Wizards during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 2, 2018, in Washington. Toronto won 102-95. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
By Noah Trister, Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points, then fed Fred VanVleet for the tiebreaking jumper from the left corner with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 121-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
The Raptors became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff berth this season. Toronto trailed by 17 in the second quarter but was able to outlast Blake Griffin and the Pistons in a back-and-forth thriller.
With the score tied late in overtime, Detroit's Reggie Bullock missed from the perimeter. DeRozan pushed the ball up the court and found VanVleet open in the corner. His shot from just inside the three-point line gave Toronto the lead.
Griffin, who had tied the game with less than a second remaining in regulation, missed a three-pointer on the final possession of overtime.
The Eastern Conference-leading Raptors have won six straight and 13-of-14. Detroit has lost four in a row and 10-of-12.
Toronto's Serge Ibaka was ejected in the second quarter.
TUFF FINISH pic.twitter.com/6Xprun8r2b— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 8, 2018
The game's most spectacular highlight came after Griffin's three-point play put Detroit ahead 112-111 with 10.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Toronto was out of timeouts, but the Pistons lost DeRozan near midcourt, and he went all the way in for a dunk with 4.6 seconds left, drawing a foul in the process.
His free throw put the Raptors up by two, but Griffin scored inside with 0.9 seconds left to tie it.
Raptors: G Deion Wright left the game with a sprained big toe on his right foot, and F OG Anunoby was out with a sprained right ankle.
Pistons: F Stanley Johnson missed the game because of back spasms.
With Detroit located right on the border with Canada, there were plenty of Toronto fans on hand, and chants of "Let's go Raptors!" broke out periodically.
Raptors: Host the Houston Rockets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Pistons: Host the Chicago Bulls on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).