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Raptors Rapid Recap - Portland 109 - Toronto 98

-While Raptors' fans were treated to a better effort tonight, the end result was the same, another loss as Portland out-worked Toronto en route to a 109 to 98 win.  Toronto got down early by as many as 15, but, in an inverse situation of their recent losses, they actually used the third quarter to cut into the Blazer lead.  In fact, with about six minutes left, TO had things down to 2, but that's as close as they got.

-Chris Bosh tried to back up yesterday's post-game critique with 28 points and 7 rebounds in the losing effort, however he didn't get enough production from his other big guns.  Andrea Bargnani had 11 points but on 5 of 13 shooting, while Jarrett Jack had only 7, and didn't start the second half of the game as he was replaced by Jose Calderon.  Hedo, booed mercilessly all evening, actually had a respectable night with 14 points and 5 boards, while DeMar DeRozan had 12 and Jose Calderon chipped in 11.  In fact, it was Amir Johnson's hustle (13 and 6 in 22 minutes) that really helped buoy Toronto outside of Bosh tonight.  Without him, this would have been Golden State ugly.

-For the Blazers, it was the Nicolas Batum show.  Batum had 22 on 7 of 9 shooting, and he got lots of help from the usual suspects, Brandon Roy (20 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (22 points and 12 rebounds.)  However scoring aside, it was the damage they did on the offensive glass and in the paint early, that really propelled them to victory.  Portland outrebounded Toronto 40 to 34 on the night, but had 19 offensive rebounds compared to only 9 for TO.  As well, the Raps continued to allow opposing teams free looks from long-range, and Portland made good on 12 of their 20 attempts, also severely hurting the Dinos cause.

-It would be great to say that the Raptors can now seek some solace at home, however that's hardly the case.  Instead, they face Raptor-killers the Hawks and Thunder next, two games that look like obvious losses.  That would be a lot easier to swallow had Toronto even gone .500 on this recent road trip.  However tonight's loss drops them a game under .500 for the first time since January, and at this rate, it's hard to say just when TO will be able to get back above that mark.