Bad Start, Leads To Another Close Loss.

James Johnson opens the scoring after a turnover on the first possession of the 2nd half of the season. Rockets go on a 6-0 run until Calderon drives and finally gets the Raptors back on track. Rockets again score 6 to the Raptors nothing and it was 12-4 early. Raptors shooting was awful early in this one. Raptors were shooting sub 20% and were down 17-7 just past mid point in the first. Raps finally got it rolling a little to make it 19-13 only to see the Rocket nail a 3 and push the lead back to 9. Raptors shot 31% and trail by a dozen after 1 with score 27-15.

Raps get off to a decent start in the second and cut the lead to 7 with score 29-22 on a 7-2 run to start the 2nd. Make that 5 as back to back Barbosa buckets make NBA scouts drool that are scouting for trade deadline. Bayless gets a silly tech but the Raps keep fighting and get the lead down to 4. However, again Rockets respond and push the lead to 9 again on a Lee three. Raps just slugged along in quarter. Ed Davis seems to show up on nights the rest on the team does not. He had 10 rebounds in 1st half. Aside from that as bad as the Raptors were they only trailed by 9 at the half with score 45-36.

Raptors were doing a decent job on defense but they had little to no offense making it seem unlikely they had a chance to win. Houston gets a three from Lowery and Jose answers with a three, which was more points in one play than he had the entire first half. Houston lead 53-45 with 7 minutes to play in the 3rd. Nice throw down for DeRozan but Houston has a quick replay and the lead was 10. Martin hit a three he was just 3-13 on the night but that made the lead 13 and that might be enough to get Rockets to finally put this to bed. They had been the better team all night long but had failed to deliver the death blow. Raptors have 8-0 run to cling to life. Lowery ends that with a three and lead was 65-55. But Barbosa has an answer 3 from the corner back to a touchdown lead for the Texans/Oilers or Rockets take your pick. Raps cut the 10 point lead in half to 5 with the score 65-60.....make that 65-62 with under 2 to play thanks to a steal and slam from DeRozan. Davis a bucket near end of third but Raps fail to play defense and Dragic nails a buzzer beater on the drive. Rockets take a 5 point lead to the 4th up 69-64.

In talking with some of the Raptors after and before the game vs Detroit the common theme was this team needed to learn to win close games. Not that Raptors deserved it but they found themselves in one. Actual on defense they did deserve it. But the Raptors offense was finally showing a pulse and and had this to 2 point game 75-73. Barbosa misses a three to take the lead and there was 6 minutes to go. Another key three for Houston they have had a lot to this point this one makes it a 78-73 lead. Amir Johnson came in for Ed Davis who had tied his career high in rebounds with 15. Seemed a strange move as someone pointed out on Twitter but Amir scores and gets the Raptors back to within 2 with score 79-77. Raptors had a really strange line-up on the floor with Antony Carter at the point along with Barbosa, Johnson, Johnson and Kleiza on the floor. Demar DeRozan had not seen much if any time in fourth and seemed less than thrilled. Jose Calderon was not exactly thrilled to be sitting either. But Casey rolled with this group to the end.

Houston missed a free throw with 11.7 seconds left and Houston led 86-83. Calderon checks in and will inbound the ball. It would end up in a rush and well guarded three pointer by Kleiza and he bricks it. Rockets get fouled with 1.2 seconds left and ice it at the line with 2 free throws making the score 88-83. Back to the drawing board for the Raptors in terms of close games. Raps would score a basket but the result was a L. Houston takes it 88-85.

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