-The Toronto Raptors gave it their best shot but just couldn't close out a win at home against the Portland Trailblazers, falling 102 to 96. Toronto was down by as many as 15 points, but thanks to a great third quarter, ended up with the lead heading into the game's final six minutes.
-Unfortunately things unravelled from there as the Raps couldn't seem to execute when it counted resulting in some suspect plays in the final minute, and Portland getting the eventual W. The execution errors culminated in DeMar DeRozan stepping out of bounds with the Raps down only 4, and that pretty much slammed the lid on this match.
-The real coffin closer though was LaMarcus Aldridge who destroyed the Raptors with 37 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He didn't get a ton of help on the night, although Rudy Fernandez was a one-man wrecking crew himself in the first half with 23 points on nearly perfect shooting from the field. And while Andre Miller and Wes Matthews were only 6 of 16 on the night, they both hit some clutch shots down the stretch for the Blazers.
-For the Raptors it was the Andrea Bargnani show. He didn't exactly offer much resistance against Aldridge, but I doubt anyone was expecting that, and Bargs was pretty awesome offensively. He hit a very efficient 10 of his 17 shots, 8 of his 9 free-throws, dished out 4 assists, and even hauled in (gasp) 6 boards. Unfortunately he didn't get great looks down the stretch and at one point, seemed to get into it with Jay Triano a bit about a play call.
-The rest of the Raps? Well scoring-wise Jerryd Bayless finally found his range and scored all 18 of his points in the fourth quarter, giving Toronto a much-needed second option late. And DeMar DeRozan was smooth-as-butter again from the field (with the exception of one desperation 3 point attempt) going 7 for 13 for 17 points. Unfortunately besides those two, and some nice work on the glass by Ed Davis (13 rebounds starting in the place of the injured Amir Johnson), that was pretty much it.
-Three straight losses and now the Raps welcome "The Blake Show" on Sunday evening. If we learned anything from these past two matches it's to expect Toronto to stick with the Clips until the fourth quarter before finally coming unglued. Of course the Clips even with Griffin, have hardly been as dominant of late, and sorely miss the presence of Eric Gordon. A win would be much-needed. After the Clips, a certain team from Miami comes to town...