Struggling Pistons look for turnaround against Raptors

The Detroit Pistons will try to end a three-game losing streak when they visit the Toronto Raptors at Tampa on Tuesday night.The Pistons have dropped six of their past seven games after their 109-90 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday.Meanwhile, the Raptors’ game Sunday against the Chicago Bulls at Tampa was postponed because of NBA health and safety protocols.”Because of positive test results and ongoing contact tracing within the Raptors, the team will not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with the scheduled game against the Bulls,” the league said in a release.The Raptors defeated the Houston Rockets 122-111 on Friday night at Tampa without coach Nick Nurse, five assistant coaches and forward Pascal Siakam because of health and safety protocols.Norman Powell had 30 points on Friday to lead the scoring for the Raptors, who have won five of their past seven games.Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo ran the Raptors from the bench in Nurse’s absence.”Honestly, it didn’t feel too much different with the 1,500 games I’ve coached before,” Scariolo said. “I felt that we were prepared getting into the game because everybody made his contribution and this is what it takes in a team sport like basketball.”The 59-year-old Italian is an experienced coach. He has coached Spain’s national team in 150 FIBA games, winning the 2019 World Cup, a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, as well as three golds and a bronze at EuroBasket competitions dating to 2009.”When I first met him, I was like, ‘Sergio is a head coach,'” said Kyle Lowry, who had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Friday. “He’s the head coach, A-type personality. That’s just him. That’s who he is. He’s very smooth. He’s very passionate about the game. He knows what he’s talking about.”Lowry has 18 career triple-doubles, 16 with the Raptors.”(Scariolo is) just really calm,” said guard Fred VanVleet, who scored 25 points on Friday. “Very serious, obviously. He’s done it at a high level for a long time, so you can’t really B.S. him. He really knows the game, he knows his stuff.”

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