Raps-Pistons go the distance

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Two days after Turkey day, the Raptors-Pistons game yesterday was all about fouls.

As a result of 65 personal fouls -- 33 for Detroit and 32 for Toronto -- yesterday's game lasted two hours and 49 minutes, the longest non-overtime game in franchise history. The previous long was the club's first-ever home opener, which was on Nov.3, 1995 against the New Jersey Nets. That contest lasted two hours and 45 minutes.

The Raptors went to the free throw line 44 times, converting 32, while the Pistons went to the line 33 times, and missed 10, with centre Ben Wallace going 2-for-8.

Chris Bosh led the free throw parade for Toronto, going 9-for-14.

Marco Belinelli came off the bench and scored nine points in less than 20 minutes, six of those points as a result of free throws, though he was forced from the game in the fourth quarter after picking up his sixth personal foul. It was his second straight strong game, and he has shot 5-for-11 in those two outings.

"Marco wasn't really playing well for a while (early in the season), but he's bounced back and has given us some good things," said Raps head coach Jay Triano.

Don't count on Nash

Any chance of Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns playing for Canada next summer at the world championships in Turkey is getting slimmer. The all-star point guard said this week that he is planning on going to South Africa, the nation of his birth, next summer to take in some England games at the soccer World Cup.

"I'm planning to get down there," Nash told HoopsWorld. "My family is from England, so since I've been a baby I've always supported England. I'll be there rooting for them."

Billups to miss two

Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups will miss two games to give his strained left groin time to heal.

Billups injured the groin on Dec. 16 against Houston and sat out three games. The all-star point guard returned on Christmas Day at Portland, but didn't play in the second half.

The Nuggets said the move was made to avoid a "lingering problem."

Sunday and then travels to Sacramento the following night. The Nuggets will then be off for the next four days, before travelling to Utah on Jan. 2.

Billups is averaging 17.1 points and 5.7 assists this season.


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