TORONTO - Led by Pascal Siakam's 23 points, the Toronto Raptors scored a season-high point total and had a franchise-record 44 assists in a 142-113 thumping of the dreadful Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
The Raptors (6-7) surpassed the previous season high they scored in their 130-111 win at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 1. Their previous best in assists was 40 against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 18, 2019.
Toronto was the latest team to beat up the Pistons (2-12), handing the visitors their 11th loss in a row. The Raptors halted a two-game losing streak and finished their four-game homestand at Scotiabank Arena at 2-2.
The Raptors also extended their streak of 25 assists or more to nine games, one shy of the club record set on Jan. 8-28, 2020.
OG Anunoby returned to Toronto's starting lineup with nine points in 27 minutes after a three-game absence with a lacerated right finger.
The other four Raptors starters hit double digits in points. Besides Siakam's team-leading total in only 29 minutes, Scottie Barnes and Denis Schroder each added 17 points. Jakob Poeltl checked in with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Stanley Umude led the way for Detroit with 19 points.
With the game out of reach early, the Raptors bench received plenty of playing time. Gary Trent Jr. scored 18 points, Chris Boucher chipped in 14 and Precious Achiuwa added 12.
The Raptors led 32-20 after the first quarter, 69-45 at half-time and 104-72 after three quarters.
Toronto overcame a poor shooting stretch when Achiuwa came off the bench to score 10 points in seven minutes at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second.
The Raptors opened a 21-point lead early in the second quarter when Achiuwa and Barnes nailed back-to-back three-pointers at the 2:01 and 2:27, respectively.
GETTING A KICK
Jonathan David and his Canadian men's national soccer teammates attended the Raptors game. On Tuesday, they play host to Jamaica at BMO Field in the second leg of their CONCACAF Nation's League quarterfinal.
Canada defeated Jamaica 2-1 on Saturday.
First-year Pistons head coach Monty Williams considers first-year Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic a good friend, even though the latter only spent the season on Williams's staff with the 2019-20 Phoenix Suns.
Williams revealed a little about Rajakovic's lifestyle.
“I have yet to run into anyone who can consume that much coffee in one day,” Williams said. “He sweats coffee.”
The Raptors visit the Orlando Magic on Tuesday and the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday before returning home to host the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2023.