Late in last night's game, with the Raptors attempting to hold off a determined Detroit Pistons side, Toronto head coach Jay Triano turned to Antoine Wright and asked the veteran swingman if he was ready to return to the game.
"He said: 'Coach, let those guys go,' " Triano said. "A guy turning down minutes because his teammates were playing well. That kind of transcends through the team."
Wright, whom the Raptors acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in July, had seen that the club's "big three" starters -- Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu -- were carrying the home side through the fourth quarter in a big way and did not want to interrupt their momentum.
So he passed on Triano's suggestion that he head back on the court.
Last night's 110-99 victory over the Pistons was really a tale of two games, with Wright a big part of both.
The opening act witnessed the Pistons forge a four-point lead after one quarter, only to see the Raptors bench, led by Wright and point guard Jarrett Jack, pick the team up in the second quarter and help the Raptors move ahead 68-56 lead at the half.
Wright scored eight points in just over nine minutes in the second quarter while Jack added seven points and four assists.
The second half was all about the Pistons, led by Will Bynum off the bench.
Detroit actually took a one point lead midway through the fourth, despite trailing by as much as 17 in the third, before Bosh, Bargnani and Turkoglu stepped up.
After Detroit went ahead 91-90 with 7:46 left, Toronto went on a 20-8 run to finish the game with the big three combining for 19 points in the final frame.
But Triano credited his bench with turning the momentum of the game in Toronto's favour.
"They came in, they gave us energy, they ran up and down the floor, they got us stops, deflections. That was some of the best basketball that that group has played," the coach said.
As for Wright, who finished with a season-high 12 points, sacrificing minutes was no big deal.
"Because I want to win," Wright said. "My whole career, I've been on winning teams, and I know what it takes. I've been on teams with guys who have given themselves up. And when you've got a unit out there rolling, I said: 'Coach, keep them out there, and keep the momentum.' "
Jack finished with nine points and six assists and his contributions were big, considering that starting point guard Jose Calderon struggled early and finished with nine points and only one assist, his dime not coming until mid-way through the fourth.
The win improved the Raptors to 2-2.
The victory was crucial given the team now plays seven of its next eight games on the road against Western Conference teams. The Pistons fell to 2-3.
Bargnani finished with 22 points and a career-best 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
Bosh was aggressive, scoring 25 points, 15 the result of frees. He also picked up eight rebounds. Turkoglu quietly put together a solid performance, with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Detroit guard Ben Gordon scored a game-high 30 points, while Bynum had 16 and starting point guard Rodney Stuckey had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Former Raptor Charlie Villanueva held a hot hand early but faded in the later stages of the game, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds.