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"D" is Not the Key as Raptors Fall at Home to Trail Blazers, 113-97

The Toronto Raptors couldn't defend and the Portland Trail Blazers couldn't miss. A winning formula this is not.

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that 102-92 win over the Miami Heat on March 13? Remember how good we all felt about the Toronto Raptors' performance and the possibility that they may have finally turned the corner?

Good times. Let's watch that game again.

The Raptors are now 39-27 on the season after getting their tails handed to them on Sunday night in a 113-97 beatdown from the Portland Trail Blazers.

LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 24 points on a stellar 9-of-14 shooting. He also chipped in 10 rebounds and five assists, driving Raptors fans into a deeper state of depression over what could have been back in 2006.

Portland moved the basketball with pinpoint precision, accumulating 27 assists and just 10 turnovers. 12 of those dimes came from Nicolas Batum, who had more assists than all five of the Raptors' starters combined (11).

Toronto's biggest issue of the night came on the defensive end, though. It was a never-ending barrage of buckets from the Trail Blazers, cutting short any attempt by the Raptors to make a game of things. They were getting easy, rarely contested looks at the basket more often than not.

Portland shot 52.3 percent from the field and nailed 13 of its 29 attempts from behind the arc. They were even hotter in the first half, rendering the Raptors' offensive outburst useless because they couldn't make stops.

Things became so disheartening, even our mascot was getting knocked on his rear end:

Jonas Valanciunas had a nice little outing for himself, hitting all seven of his shots for a near double-double of 14 points and nine rebounds. What's up with the 22 minutes of action, though? Terrence Ross, who had just as many personal fouls (3) as he did points (3), got more run (25 minutes) than Jonas. It's not as if Portland went small for a majority of the night.

The Raptors have failed to win consecutive games since All-Star Weekend, falling to 3-10 since Feb. 20. The Indiana Pacers await Monday night, so it's not as if things are going to get any easier right away.

Hold me?

What are your thoughts on tonight's game? Was it just a bad night against a really good team, or do deeper issues continue to linger?

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