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RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap: Los Angeles Lakers 94 - Toronto Raptors 92

-This game truly was a heartbreaker for the Dinos. It came down to the final minutes where Kobe Bryant made not one, but two huge plays to put his team up in the dying second. The Raptors, however had two opportunities to tie the game or take the lead; the first came with 4.2 seconds, but Rasual Butler was called for a controversial 5 second violation despite attempting to call a time out. The Raptors again had the opportunity to tie the game on the final possessions but got only an airball from DeMar DeRozan.

-The Raptors first quarter woes continued as they dropped the opening quarter 34-19, a lead which would eventually prove insurmountable despite the Raptors beating the Lakers in each of the subsequent quarters.

-Although this will ultimately go down as a loss for the Raptors, they showed some fight, coming back from 18 down in the first half to eventually lead the game by 4 in the fourth quarter. Following the Raptors lethargic play in the first quarter, Dwayne Caser inserted Jamaal Magloire into the lineup in the second quarter and it completely changed the tone of the game. Magloire's tough play on the interior sparked a Raptors run that saw them close the 18 point gap to just 8 by halftime.

-Jose Calderon had an unbelievable game for the Dinos, scoring a career high 30 points and grabbing 6 assists. Calderon anchored the Raptors' O all night and made some big plays down the stretch including a three-pointer to put his team up 4 with less than two minutes to play, and a jumper that put the Raptors up 1 with 16 seconds remaining.

-The bench performance was crucial for the Raptors again in this one. The Raptors' bench vastly out played the Lakers' for a 43-24 bench scoring advantage. Linas Kleiza led all bench players in scoring with 15, while Barbosa added 12 and Ed Davis finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Jamaal Magloire also had 7 rebounds and a block in 15 minutes of work.

-On the Lakers' side of things Kobe Bryant shook off a spotty shooting night to make some big baskets--including the game winner--when it counted for the Lakers. Bryant lead his team in scoring with 27 points. Pau Gasol was also big, grabbing a game high 17 rebounds and dishing out a team high 6 assists to go along with his modest 16 point scoring output. Andrew Bynum also pitched in with 14 points and 9 rebounds.

-As has been the story a number of times this season, the Raptors put out a strong effort for the majority of the game, but still came away with the loss. This wont help the Dinos in the win-loss column, but it was an entertaining game that will not have a negative effect their lottery chances--a minor victory for those rooting for a better pick in the draft come season's end.