Pistons beat Raptors to end three-game losing streak

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It took 68 games, but Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester finally got the lineup he wanted.

He started his four oldest players -- Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Tracy McGrady -- along with rookie Greg Monroe. The group scored a season-high 38 points in the first quarter and Detroit ended a three-game losing streak with a 107-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

"I've been waiting for that group to present itself all season, but it hasn't worked out until now," Kuester said. "They did a great job of setting the tone -- that was as good a first quarter as we've played offensively all season."

With Hamilton benched for nearly a month and Wallace missing eight games after the death of his brother, the group hadn't been available since early January.

"When we have Ben Wallace out there with us, we know we can do good things," Prince said. "He's going to play defense, grab rebounds and block shots, and that means the rest of us can get out and run."

Rodney Stuckey, Detroit's leading scorer, had a strange game. Usually a shoot-first point guard, he finished with a career-high 14 assists while taking just one shot.

"My guys were open and making shots," Stuckey said. "A lot of people don't know it, but I'm a good passer. I probably passed up some shots I could have taken, but my guys were open."

Kuester, who has given McGrady the starting point guard job, enjoyed Stuckey's new style.

"I think he was attacking as much as he normally does, but he was attacking for other players instead of for himself," Kuester said. "I loved it."

Andrea Bargnani led Toronto with 20 points, while Leandro Barbosa added 18 off the bench. Toronto scored the first basket and then never led again.

"Their energy was better than ours from the beginning of the game," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "You can't dig a hole like we did tonight. For the remainder of the game, I thought we outplayed them, but you can't afford to get down to this team."

The Pistons led by 20 in the second, but the Raptors cut the margin to 63-52 at halftime.

Toronto was as close as six on multiple occasions in the third but couldn't get any closer. The Pistons took an 87-76 advantage into the fourth.

"We fought hard to get back into it, and then they pulled away," said Toronto forward Ed Davis. "We had a lack of focus and a lack of energy, and it showed up in the first quarter. We have to come ready to play."

Game notes
Although St. Patrick's Day isn't until Thursday, the Raptors wore green uniforms. ... Kuester said before the game that he doesn't expect second-year forward Jonas Jerebko to play this season. Jerebko had been hoping to see some action after tearing his Achilles tendon during the preseason. ... Stuckey had 13 assists before attempting his first -- and only -- shot. He missed a fast-break layup with 3:52 to go. ... Hamilton will miss Thursday's practice due to the death of his grandfather.