Raptors Rapid Recap - Portland 101 - Toronto 87

-Were the Toronto Raptors more interested in seeing the Canada-Russia hockey game tonight?  It sure seemed like it because a subpar effort this evening resulted in an ugly 101 to 87 loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

-Portland started strong and built a 17 point lead in the first half before Toronto got back into it right before the end of the second quarter.  It was the Blazer bench, Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez and Dante Cunningham in particular, that got the job done, and this trio, along with Andre Miller, powered Portland ahead for good later in the game. 

-Toronto got a third straight solid outing from Hedo Turkoglu, and a great game from Jarrett Jack...and...well...that was about it.  The rest of the team just couldn't mount enough offence when it counted and coupled with some lackluster defence, this one looked to be over early.

-The Blazers shot almost 50 per cent from the field, 40 per cent from beyond the arc, and generally did whatever they wanted offensively.  Toronto didn't help matters by uncharacteristically turning the ball over 16 times, most of these in the first half, and really did a good job of demonstrating the expression, "digging your own grave."

-I'll discuss this more tomorrow but in many ways, this should have been a very important loss for Toronto.  The team's cupcake run of match-ups is over and now they need to prove that their lofty post-Christmas streak was not mostly a matter of the schedule they played.

-As well, tonight looked to be eerily like what next year's club may look like if Bosh heads south.  He sat out his third straight game tonight and without him, the team looked to be in disarray offensively.  With the Cavs up next, here's to hoping he's ready to go on Friday.

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