If we went through all the roster moves today we may not get to the re-cap. But it appears in the coles notes version Gaines is back on his 2nd time around 10 day contract but will be released for Trey Johnson to sign tomorrow. Why is that? Jose Calderon is a no go with the flu, a cold or something like that. We can only hope he gave it to Chris Bosh. Anyway Sonny Weems is back from his back but Julian Wright will get the start and so will Jerryd Bayless with no Jose.
Well decent start as DeRozan and Bargnani both had buckets and Raptors had an 8-2 lead and Bayless had an assist on every bucket. Grizzlies got back in the hunt and cut the lead to just 1 at with score 10-9. Bayless would stick a jumper and he was doing an amazing job running this club. The Raptor had built a 18-11 lead with J.B (Not me) at the controls. Mayo would hit a 3 and get the Grizz going pushing back in this one. A time out with score Raptors 22 Grizzlies 18 so far so good at the ACC. Grizzlies kept coming and O.J Mayo who has had his struggles was a big part of the comeback to even this game up at 24. A Bayless turnover late and the Grizz would have a chance to take the lead after 1 at the line with 2. They would make 1 and take a 25-24 lead into the 2nd Quarter.
Sonny Weems first time on the floor in 2011 came near the start of the 2nd Quarter. He fires up perhaps an ill advised shot but least he is back on the floor. Raps were still fighting from behind 36-30. Derozan and Bargnani were carrying over their performance from in Miami with a combined 22 points. Raptors were in a battle with the Grizzlies and it was 38-37 for Memphis. Raps had a chance to take lead back but Bargnani misses and Ed Davis gets offensive rebound but can't do anything with it. But Davis would get a 2nd chance at it after an empty for Memphis and he would score and draw the foul to put the Raptors back in the lead. This was not a well played game by either side but it was close as the teams were now trading the lead on every possession. Gasol the score and the foul give the Grizz a 49-47 lead. They would hold the lead to the half and take a 51-49 lead to the break.
Andrea Bargnani out on the break on the run way....and he slams it and gets 2's across the board. The judge from Italy gave him a 5 but he was clearly bias. More importantly then my attempt at humour was the Raptors tied this up at 53. But the Grizz would get on a little run and take a 64-58 lead. A time out from Triano and the message was to talk on D and help on D. The play out of the time out was for Double D and he would cash in for 2. Fellow Young Onez member Amir Johnson would make it a 2 point lead. Raps would tie it up and Bayless blew an easy lay up and Grizz take it the other way and score. Bargnani and Gasol trade baskets. Gasol would score again after an ill advised 3 attempt from Jerryd Bayless that did not fall. Raptors struggling down the stretch of this 3rd quarter and the Grizzlies were pulling away. It was 80-74 after 3 and Raptors would need a comeback to avoid their 8th straight loss.
Gaines air balls a 3 and if the rumours are true it won't matter much as he will be gone tomorrow but for this game it mattered a lot. Bayless going for a block took out Mike Conley. He missed both but Grizzlies got the rebound on the miss and score and Grizz up 88-76. Raptors would get on a run and were back in this one. 6-0 run should have been 8 but Wright failed to finish on a lay-up. But Amir Johnson takes a charge on Gasol and give the Raps another chance to continue the run trialling 88-82. The run would march on and Andrea Bargnani would score off a Bayless feed and draw a foul. Makes it and this is an 11-0 run and Raptors were down just 1. Bayless speaking of the number 11 has 11 points and 11 rebounds. DeRozan with a score then a steal and a chance to give the Raptors the lead at the line and he would Raptors lead 92-91 and DeRozan has 23 in the game. A Gay slam in the paint gave the Grizz the lead back. Bayless answered with a 2 and Raps were back on top. Grizz get to the line and make 1 of 2 but a Raptor turnover leads to Conley lay up and the Grizz lead 96-94. DeRozan a big rebound (His 9th) and makes a pair at the line to tie it at 96. Conley again does it for the Grizz with a huge bucket and they led 98-96. Raptors could not cash in on Bayless jumper from the corner for 2. There was 42 seconds left and the Grizzlies had the ball up 2. Raptors would get a stop and Bayless would redeem himself with a score off a screen and roll on the drive. Tied at 98 with 18.1 seconds to play. The Grizz would isolate Rudy Gay on Julian Wright and he would drive and stick a jumper to give the Grizzlies a 100-98 lead. Just .8 seconds left. Raptors would try to get a 3 from Gaines on the inbound play it was blocked and the Raptors fall short and their 3 point streak is dead as well.
Raptors played a good basketball game but not good enough and the snowball keeps rolling down the hill. Tonight proved a point though the Raptors were able to compete and almost win a game without making a single three. I don't mind the Raptors taking 3's but it needs to make sense and can't just be jacking up 3's for no purpose. Maybe now that this streak after 986 games is dead we can focus on being more economically in the use of the shot. Raptors were 0/13 on the night and if even half of those possessions resulted in a higher % shot we are talking about a Raptor win.
I understand many of you will not share my glee in this streak being over, but it seriously meant nothing, and for me was symbol of a team that relied on the 3 point shot far to much for far too many years. This season was and is suppose to be a bout a change in this organization and a new direction for this franchise. So the fact this streak dies is almost fitting in a way. It is a real shame it could not die in a win.
Grizz take it 100-98 and Raps losing streak extends to 8 with an improved Philly club coming to town on Wednesday.