Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
76ers spoil Lowry's return to the squad, as they steal a win from the struggling Raptors.
This game was frustrating, to say the least.
After a strong third quarter, the Raptors held a seven point lead entering the fourth period. Toronto was playing very consistent basketball, and their offense was looking great.
Then... it happenned. Once again the Raptors didn't show up for a quarter, and this time it cost them. Their sevenpoint lead quickly turned into an eight point deficit, as the Raps got completely outplayed in the fourth quarter.
For the second straight match up with the Sixers, the Raptors led for most of the game and got the win stripped from their hands at the last moment. The final score was 106-98 for Philadelphia, as the Raptors crawl deeper into unwanted territory at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
After a disappointing game like this, there's tons of blame to go around.
Amir has got to take some of the blame for this one, as he struggled mightily on both ends of the floor, and managed to foul out despite playing just 21 minutes. DeMar also didn't play his best game, as he took many ill-advised shots, and had a big 0 in the assist department.
But the majority of the blame should placed on coach Dwane Casey. The Raptors got simply out-coached in this one, as Casey's rotations in the fourth didn't match up well with Doug Collins' rotations. Casey's biggest gaffe was that Jonas Valanciunas, in the midst of playing a great game, was inexplicably benched for the almost the entire fourth quarter. Instead of JV, Casey stuck with a tired Amir (didn't go so well) and even some Dominic Mcguire in the fourth quarter.
Despite the disappointing loss, Toronto actually played very well for most of the game. Lowry proved that his injury didn't change his effectiveness on the court, and Jose managed another double double with 13 points and 12 assits. Sadly, these performances will be mostly forgotten as the Raptors lose another tough one.
Toronto's next game is tomorrow night in Charlotte, be sure to take part in our gameday thread.