Raptors Rapid Recap - Detroit Pistons 101 - Toronto Raptors 95

-Once again the Toronto Raptors allowed an opponent to jump to a big lead, made a valiant run to get back in the game, but couldn't close out the win.  As a result, they dropped their sixth game out of their last eight in a 101 to 95 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

-The story of the game was really the first half.  The Raps shot nearly 50% from the field, but allowed the Pistons to shoot nearly 60% and post 61 points on them by half.  Therefore even though the Raps outplayed Detroit overall in the game's second portion, the deficit was too much, and the difference in the end.  A quick check of the game stats confirms this as the Raps and Pistons played to a draw in nearly every category.

-Leading the Pistons was Tracy McGrady, back to haunt his old team by posting 22 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Toronto had no answer for him and the Pistons knew it, repeatedly posting T-Mac up on smaller players like DeRozan and Calderon.  McGrady also got solid help from the likes of Rodney Stuckey (19 points), Charlie Villanueva (16 points) and Greg Monroe (12.)

-The Raptors were led by Andrea Bargnani, who turned in blistering offensive performance with 31 points, a game-high.  He also had 9 rebounds in this one but didn't get much help from his teammates.  DeMar DeRozan was the next highest scorer with 15, and even Andrea took 25 shots to get his 31 points.  Toronto's offence struggled again in many key moments and really only got going in the third quarter off of stops and in transition.  (They had 27 transition points.)

-Topping off this disappointing loss was the fact that Leandro Barbosa, a huge part of the Raps close loss to Atlanta on Wednesday night, was injured early in the game and did not return.  The verdict is a strained right hamstring, and he won't be making Toronto's road trip, a big blow to a club that's already struggling.

-As mentioned, the Raps now head on the road for five straight, and looking the matches over, it's evident that Toronto blew a good opportunity to make up some ground this week on the final playoff spot.  Atlanta was a winnable match, as was tonight's game against the D, and tomorrow night the Dinos take on the Wiz, another cellar-dwellar. But after that we're talking Hornets, Spurs, Magic and Heat, basically the NBA's murderer's row.

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