As the HQ's Sean Tepper points out, 40 minutes of solid play just wasn't enough in last night's loss to the Jazz...
Despite entering last night's game with an injury riddled team that has lost nine of its last eleven games, the Utah Jazz were able to do something that they have done very effectively for nearly a decade.
Beat the Toronto Raptors.
Last night's heartbreaking 96-94 loss to the Deron Williams-less Utah Jazz extended the Dinos losing streak to said Jazz team to a staggering 12 games.
Heck, you'd have to go back all the way to 2004 to find the last time that the Raptors beat the Jazz.
In spite of their previous history with the Jazz, the Raps looked fairly good early on, as Ed Davis helped propel them to an early 7-0 run that allowed them to get off to a quick start. Just as things were looking good for Triano and company something devastating happened.
The Raptors got Reggie Evans, one of NBA's top rebounders, back from a sprained ankle that had sidelined him for 48 consecutive games, another one of their top big men went down.
Amir Johnson was lying on the ground grabbing his left ankle after landing awkwardly on it.
At that instant the Air Canada Centre went completely silent as the 6 foot 9 power forward squinted in pain as he waited for the training staff to make their way onto the hardwood.
Although he was unable to walk on it at first, Johnson ended up leaving the game under his own power but is believed to have a high ankle sprain that may sideline him for an extended period of time and that is something that the struggling Raptors cannot afford.
Although they haven't been playing particularly well this season, Johnson has been one of the lone bright spots for Toronto.
Sure Evans played 33 minutes and had racked up 11 rebounds in his first game back, but Triano himself admitted that Evans looked a little rusty and will still need some more time to get himself back to where he was before he got hurt. Plus, Johnson provides the Raptors with a player that has the potential to score anywhere between 12 and 20 points a night whereas Reggie...well...it's great if he can just make his lay-ups.
While Johnson's status is still unclear, two of Toronto's other young players had a very inconsistent night. Both DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis got off to incredible starts in the game's early goings, but slowed down significantly in the second half.
That combined with the Raptors' inability to play defence down the stretch and box out Al Jefferson in the fourth quarter all played a role in them coughing up their 14 point lead.
Although the Jazz are a significantly better team than the Raptors, I truly thought that Toronto was going to come out with a big win last night seeing as Utah was not only taking the court without starting forwards Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Millsap, but they were also missing guard Ronnie Price and centers Francisco Elson and Mehmet Okur.
Toronto outrebounded the Jazz 41-33, outscored their bench 42-9 and got to the foul line 10 more times than Utah.
For 40 minutes the Raptors played well enough to win, and that is what was most frustrating about last night's loss.
But hey, it's not like we aren't used to that already?