The Toronto Raptors will be out to win four consecutive games for the first time this season when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Saturday afternoon.

The Raptors held on to defeat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 Thursday night and have won three straight for the third time this season. Pascal Siakam scored 26 points in the Raptors’ sixth victory in their past seven games.

The Pistons, who have lost six of seven, are coming off a 108-106 road loss to the Orlando Magic on Thursday. Detroit tied it on Jaden Ivey’s 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter only to have Orlando win on Wendell Carter Jr.’s tip layup at the buzzer.

The Raptors are 2-0 against the Pistons this season, including a 119-118 home victory on Feb. 12.

O.G. Anunoby returned to the Raptors’ lineup Thursday and had 12 points after missing nine games with a sprained wrist. Toronto was without Fred VanVleet (personal).

Jakob Poeltl, obtained from the San Antonio Spurs before the trade deadline, had 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds. He also had three steals and a block. In the final game before the All-Star break on Feb. 14, he had 30 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in a victory over Orlando.

“I was pretty happy with the ball pressure,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought we were big at the rim. You know, we made them take tough shots. And we protected the rim on a number of occasions when it looked like the play was in trouble, right, and we saved them and we were able to get out (and go) the other way. But I thought the concentration, the effort and the execution of what we were trying to do was good, was solid.”

The Pelicans overcame a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit to pull within two points with 33.8 seconds left, but Gary Trent Jr.s 3-pointer clinched the game and gave him 18 points. Scottie Barnes also had 18 points.

Despite the Pelicans’ comeback. Nurse liked what he saw defensively.

“We’ve got to get this team to play this kind of defense, right?” Nurse said. “This is who we are, who we can be and if we do that, then we’re going to (be tough to beat).”

At Orlando. Ivey scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the rookie’s confidence continued to grow.

“Father Time,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Reps and time, going against NBA talent every night, you’re going to improve.”

“It’s just confidence, that’s the big thing,” Ivey said. “Confidence to get to my midrange when they’re sagging off. When I don’t have something going for me, I can always create for my teammates.”

Ivey was 9-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-7 in 3-point attempts. He made two of his four free throws.

“It just came down to the last possession,” Ivey said. “It could have been a different situation if I hit free throws, and I’ve just got to live with the

consequences and learn from it.”

“We came out with a lot of energy, which is difficult to do after the All-Star break,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “The timing, the rhythm, we did all that, except for the turnovers. Twenty-one (turnovers) for 21 points in a one-point game. We can’t gift them 21 points.”

–Field Level Media