Of all the mind-boggling defeats the Raptors have suffered this season, this one is a prime candidate for Most Painful. A 17-point
halftime lead had been frittered away, but the Raps still led by four with eight seconds to play. Philly managed to score, force a turnover on the inbounds play, and score again to tie. Overtime was an anti-climax, as Jrue Holiday, who had bedevilled Toronto the entire night, scored all 12 of Philly’s points to lead all scorers with 33. There are so many ways this game hurt.
The Raps poured in 60 points in the first half, and probably should have had more. Terrence Ross rediscovered his jump shot, draining four 3-balls in Q2 before Philly decided perhaps they should cover him. The Raps moved the ball unselfishly, and were full value for their 32 point quarter.
Ed Davis continued his fine play with 18 points and 10 boards, all the more remarkable since he seems to have no idea that he’s allowed to move to his right. Amir Johnson found Ed several times with excellent passes for easy throwdowns, and scored 9 points of his own. Kyle Lowry has had better games. Going 2/7 from distance was disappointing, as was five turnovers. Alan Anderson once again needed too many shots to get his 18 points, but he was better than 2 starters, DeMar DeRozan and Landry Fields. DeMar still can’t hit a 3-ball (0/3) and wasn’t finding lanes to the basket. He had no free throw attempts, and again was a non-factor late. Fields’ disastrous season never seems to find bottom. One basket and two rebounds is dreadful, and his jump shot should not be seen by anyone under 18. At least Dwane Casey limited him to 13 minutes of PT.
The Raps were ahead by 19 early in Q3 after a Jose Calderon 3-ball, but there was no good news after that. All the fine play, and the big lead, disappeared. Philly shot 72%, the Raps were the converse, and the 76ers were down one point going into the fourth. The Raps rediscovered their offense, courtesy of a pair of Anderson 3-balls and some Davis jumpers, and stretched the lead to 10 with five minutes to play. It wasn’t enough.
The Raps must be the worst closers in the NBA. No lead is large enough, and overtime is a near-guaranteed defeat (1-4 this season, including the last two games). If there’s a silver lining in all this cloud, my eyes have missed it.
The Raps take on another struggling team, the Los Angeles Lakers, on Sunday afternoon at the ACC.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.