Last night, the Toronto Raptors ended a franchise drought in Colorado after an impressive 100-90 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Unfortunately, that luck didn’t transfer in the state of Oregon.
DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and Kyle Lowry added 23 as Toronto lost a nail-biter to Portland 106-103 at the Moda Center. The Raptors looked lethargic and uninspired in the first half – appearing that they mailed this one in. However, a strong third and fourth quarter propelled Toronto (25-22) to a 103-102 lead with 25 seconds left – their first lead of the game.Then Damian Lillard did his thing and iced the Raptors with a 6-foot jumper, bringing Portland (34-13) to victory.
Portland now improves to 25-10 all time versus Toronto. We will get their number someday…someday.
The Raptors struggled to generate consistent offense against Portland’s wretched defense – a squad that ranks 27th overall in the association allowing 103.4 points per game. However, Toronto turned it up a notch in the second half, scoring 63 points and finishing the night 40-87 on 46.0 % shooting. I would have like to seen a better effort from the charity stripe since the Raptors were a pedestrian 17-25 (68.0%),
Toronto trailed for the majority of this this game and overall the defense was unspectacular tonight against the NBA’s best offense (scoring an outstanding 108.4 points per game). The Blazers jumped to a 31-19 lead after the first quarter and never really looked back, increasing their lead to 57-40 at the halftime buzzer. The Raptors tightened up in the second half, especially in the third quarter, but Portland hit clutch three after three. Toronto has now allowed the opposition to score 100+ points in three of their past five contests.
The battle of the glass ended up in Portland’s favour with the Trail Blazers amassing 42 rebounds compared to Toronto’s 37. Not a single player from the Raptors finished with double-digit rebounding.
Game Ball: DeMar DeRozan
Toronto’s All-Star had a monster fantasy line scoring 36 points, dishing out 12 assists and grabbing 4 boards on 14-29 shooting. DeRozan found his rhythm in the third and fourth quarter and almost led the Raptors to a comeback. The 24-year-old is making a name for himself in the league and is now the NBA’s 12th leading scorer.