RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap - Portland Trailblazers 94 - Toronto Raptors 84


-Dwane Casey lit a fire under the Toronto Raptors at halftime, helping them cut a big lead by the Portland Trailblazers to only five...but the same offensive woes once again did the Dinos in as they dropped their lone home match for a while, 94 to 84.

-The Raptors D was there for the most part once more, holding the Blazers to a mere 40 per cent shooting from the field, but in turn, they themselves couldn't hit the broad side of a barn door. In what's been a common theme to date this season, the Raps couldn't knock down shots when they needed to, hitting only 37 per cent. Add in the fact that Toronto was crushed on the glass, 55 to 40, and despite a better performances in other categories tonight, the Dinos came up with the L.

-The main glass crusher, and all around destroyer for the Blazers, was LaMarcus Aldridge. He was simply unstoppable scoring 33 points to go with his 23 rebounds, and he single-handily put the Raps in first quarter hole early that they failed to climb out of. Aldridge got some key baskets from teammates Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford to keep the Raptors at bay, and really Portland's overall team effort ensured they didn't land their second straight loss.

-Even though the loss marks Toronto's seventh straight, there were some positives to take from this one. DeMar DeRozan wasn't exactly the measure of efficient shooting, but his 22 point performance (including 10 free throw attempts) was a big step back in the right direction for DD. And James Johnson made his coach's decision to start him again at the 3 look good, by turning in a career-high 23 points in addition to a stat-stuffing 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks.

-The Raps as noted now head back on the road after that one-game homestand. The club is in LA Sunday to take on the Clippers and they can only pray that Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless, or at least one of them, is ready to return. Both seem close as per team reports, and considering the Dinos woeful offense of late, a return against the high-powered Clips could not come a moment too soon.

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