Raptors hope home court helps against lowly Pistons

The Toronto Raptors will try to put the advantage back into home court when they play the struggling Detroit Pistons on Friday night.The Raptors (35-38) had won seven in a row at home before losing 118-114 to the visiting Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.Meanwhile the Pistons (16-57) lost their fourth straight Tuesday 129-107 to the host Atlanta Hawks.The Raptors were without Scottie Barnes (wrist), Gary Trent Jr. (elbow) and Precious Achiuwa (hamstring) when they played the Pacers in the opener of a four-game homestand.None took part in practice on Thursday and all three are listed as questionable for Friday. Barnes took shots with a brace on his injured left wrist after practice.The Raptors, who are 23-14 at home, fell behind the Pacers 36-26 in the first quarter after a sluggish start.”Didn’t feel super organized at either end at the start or for a while,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Didn’t shoot it nearly well enough with a bunch of wide-open shots in the game as well and just couldn’t quite get over the hump.”Pascal Siakam had 31 points (25 in the second half), Fred VanVleet added 28 points and 11 assists and Jakob Poeltl put up 23 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors.Toronto was 7-for-34 (20.6 percent) from 3-point range. The Raptors’ final successful trey was Chris Boucher’s buzzer-beater at the end of the game. They shot 43.8 percent from the field overall.”We’re down a couple guys and missing some scoring and things like that, you need Fred, Pascal. O.G. (Anunoby) — our main guys — to step up and play and I didn’t think Pascal was into the game early,” Nurse said. “He certainly got going toward the end of the (first) half and certainly most of the second half.”The Raptors held a four-point lead with 9:14 remaining in the fourth quarter but were down by five with 4:25 to play and were down by seven in the final minute.Toronto scored 21 points off 18 Pacers’ turnovers, while allowing eight points on 10 turnovers.