Raptors Handle Pistons

Reigning Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso from Spain blasts off in his Formula One car during the morning free practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, March 10, 2006, in preperation for Sunday's season opening Formula One race. (AP Photo/Jasper Juinen)
AP Photo/Jasper Juinen

Two of the steadiest veterans in the NBA have helped the Toronto Raptors mature.

Antonio Davis had 24 points and 15 rebounds and Charles Oakley hit two jumpers in the closing minutes as the Raptors beat the Detroit Pistons 89-85 Tuesday night.

"The thing that excites me about this team is that nobody puts their head down and wonders how we're going to win," Davis said. "It shows that we're growing up."

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  • With veterans Davis, Oakley, Muggsy Bogues and Doug Christie on the floor in the closing minutes, Toronto overcame an eight-point deficit. They finished on a 10-0 run and kept Detroit scoreless in the last 4:18 of the game.

    "We had some veterans on the floor and we kept grinding," Bogues said. "Oakley got free and made two big shots."

    After Oakley hit a 16-foot jumper to tie the game 85-85 with 1:30 remaining, Davis blocked a layup attempt by Jerome Williams, who scored a career-high 26 points for Detroit.

    Following a steal by Toronto's Doug Christie, Bogues pushed the ball up court and passed to Oakley, who sank a 17-footer to give Toronto the lead.

    Jerry Stackhouse missed a jumper for Detroit before Bogues made two free throws to seal the victory.

    "This was a big win," Bogues said. "We need to experience nail-biters like this."

    Stackhouse also scored 26 points for the Pistons, who lost to the Raptors by 17 points at home last week.

    "You can't go he last five minutes of a game, not score and expect to win," Detroit coach Alvin Genty said. "It's a shame because we played well enough to win."

    With four guards and Davis on the floor in the second quarter, Davis scored 12 points as Toronto took a 3-point halftime lead.

    The Raptors led by eight points in the second quarter, but Oakley committed five turnovers, three of which led to dunks by Williams.

    "Oakley wasn't very good, except when he needed to be," Toronto coach Butch Carter said.


  • Toronto activated guard Dee Brown from the injured list. Brown, who led the NBA in 3-pointers made last season, underwent minor surgery on his left knee Oct. 15.
  • Toronto's Tracy McGrady left the game in the third quarter after spraining an ankle.

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