The Raptors couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to win this game down the stretch.
In the final 20 seconds of the game; Lowry, Calderon, DeRozan and Bargnai (in that order) all had chances to finish off the Bobcats. Instead, Lowry and DeRozan had their shots blocked, Calderon's shot rimmed out, and Bargnani air balled on what was most likely a foul from MKG.
After the crazy final seconds of the game, the Bobcats came out on top and earned a hard fought win.
Despite the obvious disappointment of a loss, there were many positives from this game.
- Casey scrapped his whole 'rookies don't play in the fourth quarter' motto, as JV played most of the fourth, and Ross even got some playing time in the final period. It was clear that the change in spirit worked, because as soon as JV and Ross were put into the game, the Raptors went on a big fourth quarter run and took the lead.
- Valanciunas played the best game of his career, with 16 points and 10 rebounds on 8-11 shooting. He was playing with some serious emotion tonight, and had some priceless reactions to the refs calls.
- A day after being benched for the whole game, Ross scored 11 points, and proved to Casey that he deserves more playing time.
- DeRozan's shot selection was much improved compared to last night, as he consistently drove hard to the bucket, instead of settling for jumpers.
- Despite being down late in the fourth, the Raptors fought back to take the lead (although they didn't hold it for long). This resilience is something the Raps haven't shown in their past few games, and Toronto should look to make a habit of it in the future.
This is definitely a tough loss to take, as the Raptors now move to 3-9 on the season.
The Dinos next game is Friday night vs the 2-10 (worse than us!) Pistons. Be sure to check out the HQ on Friday, as we'll be blogging live.