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Recap: Raptors Absolutely Stink Versus the Houston Rockets, Fall 98-76

The Toronto Raptors followed up a signature win against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night by playing one of their worst games of the season on Saturday, falling 98-76 to the Houston Rockets and wasting James Johnson's career night.

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets started the night slowly, playing exactly like they were each in the second game of a back-to-back set after an extended All-Star break. The Rockets, however, woke up in the second half, outscoring Toronto 58-40 after halftime on their way to a 98-76 victory.

Toronto set or came close to setting several season-lows in this one game:

  • 76 points (second worst)
  • 25 turnovers (worst)
  • 12 assists (second worst)
  • 33 percent shooting from the field (third worst)
  • 4-for-18 shooting from three-point range (tied for fewest makes, third worst percentage).

To say they played poorly would be a bit of an understatement.

James Johnson was the only Raptor who seemed to realize the team had a game tonight, as he posted a career-high 27 points on 10-for-16 shooting, while filling the rest of the stat sheet with five rebounds, four steals, and four blocks. He was a factor on both ends of the floor all night - holding James Harden to four points on 0-for-6 shooting in the first half, before the Beard managed to drop the remaining 16 of his 20 in the third quarter.

Both Kyle Lowry (11 points, 2-for-13 from the floor, 0-7 from long range, four assists, five fouls, seven turnovers) and DeMar DeRozan (10 points, 4-for-14 shooting, three rebounds, threes assists, three steals, five turnovers) had awful outings and each of them looked visibly frustrated by the antics of Patrick Beverley. Beverley might not have endeared himself to many Raptors players or fans tonight, but his tactics seemed to work, as Kyle and DeMar let their frustrations get the best of them and effectively take them out of the game.

The absence of Lou Williams (ankle) made Toronto's bench unit look uncharacteristically outmatched, as the Rockets' reserves outscored the Raptors' 48-17, led by Corey Brewer, who had a team-high 26 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and five steals off the pine for Houston. Get well soon, Lou!

The Raptors managed to juxtapose one of their best wins of the season in Atlanta against the Hawks on Friday night with one of their most embarrassing losses tonight in Houston. Still, they're winners of 11 of their last 14, including a 4-1 record during this tough stretch of eight straight games against teams above .500. We'll see if they can get back in the win column on Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans and put this one behind them.

Now, let's vent our frustrations about this game in the comment section.

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