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Raptors Win Key Draft Lottery Match, Lose to Pistons 76 - 73

-It's weird to have a title to a recap claiming the Toronto Raptors' won by losing, but that's the reality of the current NBA. Faced with slipping to eighth in the race for a shot at Anthony Davis, the Raps dropped a winnable match to the Detroit Pistons tonight, 76-73.

-I say "winnable" but this was hardly a playoff intensity match. In fact considering neither team shot over 38 per cent from the field, nor topped 24 points in a quarter, this match was captivating only in its ugliness, and a good example of just how bad the low end of the NBA spectrum can be. I compared the match at one point to Summer League play, as did Toronto's announcers, but I'm not even sure it reached that pinnacle at times.

-In any event, it's a loss and despite some solid play by the likes of Solomon Alabi (6 points, 10 rebounds and a block in 24 minutes) and DeMar DeRozan (16 points on 7 of 15 shooting), there just wasn't enough talent to get this one done for TO. Detroit wasn't much better, but down the stretch made less errors, and walked away with the W.

-And really, it was the final stretch that made this one even slightly intriguing, if in a bizarre and nearly hilarious way. Turnovers, a random tip-in by Alabi and some poor shot selection by the Pistons kept Toronto within striking distance of a win but Alan Anderson's potential game-tying drive was thwarted on a terrible missed goaltending call by the refs, and even though Rodney Stuckey only made one of two-free throws at the other end to again give Toronto a ray of hope, Linas Kleiza couldn't knock down a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer, and that was that.

-The Raps now turn around and face a Milwaukee Bucks squad tomorrow night that's teetering on the edge of playoff elimination. They're three games back of the Philadelphia 76ers with three games to play so will thankfully, for us tank fans, it looks like we'll see the Bucks' A game.