Why must every close game the Raptors play at the end come down to blaming the refs for the Raptors failing to walk away with a win. It is a chicken and egg argument at the end I suppose. Which comes first the refs making a call that doesn’t go the Raptors way or the complaining about it?
When this is the result it gets lost what happened in the game as a whole. The Raptors allowed themselves to get way behind in this game and it was shaping up much like the game in Brooklyn just 24 hours prior. It would be a successful push back by the Raptors finding a way to get this game to overtime.
All three of the injured Raptors from last night would play in this one. Kyle Lowry and Alan Anderson both playing extremely well, despite the injuries the night prior for both they excelled on this night. They combined for 53 points off the bench Anderson fresh out of the dentist chair tied a career high 27. The bench as whole had 66 points in the Raptors effort on the night.
DeMar DeRozan started off this game hot but ultimately faded into the background after a 5-5 shooting start to his night. He was 1-8 after that scoring 18 points on the night in a shade over 40 minutes of action. He was not alone in fading into the background as Carlos Boozer was the story in the first half. He cooled off to a lesser degree in the second half. He also ended up in foul trouble by the end of this one. That said he had the game high in scoring with 36 points.
Ultimately this game came down to a series of calls hence the talking about the refs off the top. There were two main calls by the officials that decided the outcome of this game. But this didn’t necessarily need to be the case. Kyle Lowry scored on a lovely floater in the lane but left 8 seconds on the clock. That allowed Deng to have a chance to win the game with a jumper in which he would clear out Landry Fields with his off hand and nailed a mid-range jumper. No foul called on Deng but it is a call that honestly is rarely made especially in the circumstances.
This left the Raptors down 107-105 with 3.3 seconds left. Amir Johnson would end up with the ball in his hands and he would draw a foul. But it would not be a shooting foul as it was ruled a pass by Johnson and a non-shooting foul. While Raptors fans say this is a totally bogus conclusion, Landry Fields does end up catching the ball at least giving some justification to the ruling. The Bulls did have a foul to give and it left the Raptors with about second left on the clock still down two.
They would get the ball in to Jose Calderon who had a very deep look at three for the win but he would miss it and that was it. This was another close but no cigar effort for the Raptors in this one. They add to a less than impressive overtime record and in this season and in their overall history. So the final score for the record remains 107-105 and a Bulls win.
The Raptors now find themselves on a 3 game losing streak and have rapidly fallen out of serious playoff contention talk. The loss sees the Raptors fall to 14-25 and by the end of night both Orlando and Detroit passing the Raptors in the standings
The Raptors face the Sixers on Friday and than the Lakers on Sunday. The realistic odds of the Raptors making the playoffs are becoming something for only the truly loyal fan can believe in. If you allow your brain to get into the equation you will come to the logical conclusion that the Raptors playoff chances are pretty much done.