1/19/13

Raptors Blow Another Big Lead Lost In Controversy.

This night started strange and ended in a very familiar way for the Raptors. Let’s start with the strange as if you turned on this game on TSN you asked yourself who is that guy that replaced Jack Armstrong with? He sounds like Dick Vitale. But it was in fact a very sick and voiceless Jack Armstrong. As it turned out Jack and his voice would last about a half and that is about the same amount of time the Raptors would last in this basketball game.

The Raptors would look much like the team that 9 days earlier was able to put a hurting on the Sixers. The Raptors built a 17 point lead in the first half that by the end of the night would be forgotten by some. The Sixers stormed out of the locker room and dominated the third quarter out scoring the Raptors 29-13. The Raptors who once had a lead of 19 entered the final quarter up by just one point.

The Sixers would take the lead in the fourth but the Raptors initially would push back to rebuild a lead but eventually it would come down to a similar situation as it did with the Bulls on Wednesday. The NBA came out earlier in the day with for the second time this season an admission that an official screwed up a call against the Raptors. This game like that one would end regulation in controversy. The Raptors trying to inbound the ball would struggle to do so with 5.5 seconds left. Alan Anderson would eventually get the ball and stepped or was shoved out of bounds. No foul was called and the Sixers would get the ball and send this game to overtime.

In the overtime the Sixers dominated play and walked away with 108-101 win. The win gives the Sixers the season series 3-1 as well and leaves the Raptors just 1-7 in the Atlantic Division on the season.

DeMar DeRozan struggled in this game with just 8 points going 4-10 from the field. Ed Davis was one of three Raptors to lead the way with 18 points. Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross also had 18 a piece coming off the bench. Davis played 41 minutes and Amir Johnson played an amazing 46 minutes with just 9 points and 5 rebound and 5 assists. Despite the modest stat line Johnson made some key plays down the stretch trying to preserve the win in regulation.

In the end the non-call was the talk after the game. Not the fact that Raptors blew a 19 point lead, failed to show-up in overtime where they were outscored 12-5 or the fact this is the Raptors fourth straight loss. It also could easily extend to 6 games with a home game against the Lakers on Sunday and travelling to Miami to take on the Heat for the first time this season.

The Raptors playoff chances seem to be dead and buried. That has little to do with 3 games with controversial calls at the end. It has everything to do with what happened prior to that in blowing significant leads in all three of these games.

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