Positive signs from Jontay Porter in loss to Pistons

Maybe his best game as a Raptor so far?

The Raptors finished their four game road trip winless, but that’s not a surprise considering the lack of options available. For the second straight game, Gradey Dick was the longest tenured Raptor on the court. Detroit was the betting favourite for only the seventh time in 65 games this season and have now won three of its last four. Meanwhile Toronto ties a season-worst five game losing streak.

Jalen Duren

Duren was the latest opponent to dominate on the boards while the Raptors severely lack a centre in Jakob Poeltl’s absence. Duren couldn’t be stopped from the opening tip, with two alley-oops and three put back dunks in the first six minutes alone. 24 of Detroit’s 32 first quarter points came in the paint.

Duren finished with his third 20-20 game of this season. In the last 40 years, only Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard have as many 20 point, 20 rebound games before turning 21 years old.

Duren tripled the Raptors offensive boards, nine to three. Detroit outrebounded Toronto 58-37. When asked about Duren, Darko Rajakovic simply read his stat line with no further comment.

“24 points, 23 rebounds and five assists.”

Jontay’s best game?

Despite Duren being a menace on the glass, the Raptors led by as many as 16 in the first half. Jontay Porter’s impact was all over the second quarter, making smart plays on both sides of the court to help build that lead. He was consistently in the right position on Piston drives, finishing with four blocks.

Offensively, Porter initiated great shots for teammates by finding cutters while operating near the three point line. His six assists tied a career-high, providing another playmaking option that replicates Kelly Olynyk’s style (Olynyk tied his high as a Raptor with eight assists).

Porter also added 10 points, six boards and a steal (seemed like one was missed on the box score honestly) in 21 minutes with zero turnovers. He’s put up impressive back to back games, after a career-high 14 points and four threes against the Nuggets and his brother on Monday.

Detroit closed the first half on a 13-4 run and took advantage of sluggish Raptor droughts in the second half to eventually build a double digit lead its own.


  • Jah’mius Ramsey is at the end of his 10 day contract. He had seven rebounds in 19 minutes, competed on defence and showed off some incredible athleticism in the fourth quarter.

Whether Ramsey gets another look remains to be seen. He was 0-6 before that windmill, missing a couple of bunnies he would like to have and also taking a questionable shot or two.

  • Immanuel Quickley had 25 points and eight assists, adding to his elevated numbers since the All-Star break. He was only 2-8 from three, but utilized change of pace and hesitation moves nicely on his drives to finish 6-9 inside the paint.
  • Olynyk has relocated his three point stroke. He’s made multiple triples in three straight games, after not doing that in his first 11 games with the Raptors.
  • Ochai Agbaji went scoreless in 26 minutes. He’s shooting 30 percent from the field in seven games this month.
  • The Raptors join the Hornets and Bulls as the only teams Detroit has beaten twice this season.

Up Next: a home and home series with an improved Orlando Magic team that sits fifth in the East.