Pascal Siakam’s 30 Point Performance Leads Raptors Past Pistons
Nick Nurse really just keeps dunking on Dwane Casey.
First, he takes Casey’s previous team to the NBA championship in his first season as head coach. Now, he beats Casey’s new team, the Detroit Pistons, to earn the opportunity to head to Chicago to coach Team Giannis in the All-Star Game.
“We get to be the beneficiaries, I think, of kind of an organizational award,” said Nurse, following the 105-92 victory. “It’s certainly a tremendous honour for us, but there’s a lot that goes into it, and it should be a really enjoyable experience for our guys.”
The Raptors will seemingly need their own private jet to Chicago to fit all of their All-Stars as outside of Nurse and his coaching staff, Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry will be representing the reigning champs on the floor. Improving to 35-14 on the season, the Raptors have done just about everything imaginable to prove their pre-season doubters wrong.
Casey acknowledged that the Raptors were built the right way and it is up to the Pistons to go down a similar path.
“The only way to silence that is to win,” said the Detroit coach. “That team has been built. It took a while to build it and it didn’t happen overnight. We have to have a plan to get our team in that position, and that is what we are doing now — there is a plan.”
As far as Friday night, Siakam had things rolling. The Cameroonian forward had yet another field day against the helpless Pistons, finishing the night with 30 points. Serge Ibaka added 21 points in the win while Fred VanVleet nearly poured in a triple-double, totalling 16 points, eight boards, and nine assists. Despite missing Marc Gasol and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Raptors pounded Detroit, outscoring the Pistons 66-28 in the paint.
Next up, the Raptors try to extend their streak to 11 when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. With one more win, the Raptors will tie a franchise mark as they hope to role into the All-Star break on a high note.