The Toronto Raptors (24-13) crumbled late against Portland Trail Blazers (16-22) losing 101-99. The Raptors end their season series against the Trail Blazers. Toronto’s now 24-13 record only a half game above the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings.

With the loss the Raptors’ perfect record against below .500 teams has it’s first blemish. The Los Angeles Lakers are the only remaining team with a perfect record (21-0) against the sub .500 teams.

Raptors Player of the Game

Kyle Lowry put forth a valiant effort to put this game away with his 24 points and 10 assist performance. His over reliance on the three ball was an issue this game as he shot a horrendous 25% (4/16), but he found success attacking the basket. His 7 free throw attempts was a game-high while shooting a respectable 43% (3/7) from within the arc. With the injuries to key play makers for the Raptors they are struggling to find easy assists, Lowry attacking the interior will help collapse the defence and allow more beautiful ball movement sequences.

Portland’s Firepower

The Raptors allowed a 13-4 run in the final 2:26 minutes of the game, allowing Portland to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The Raptors had no answer for Carmelo Anthony was a huge problem for the Raptors all night long. Carmelo’s game-high 28 points in the contest is also a season-high for the future hall of fame candidate and it came alongside 58% 10/17 shooting. Portland needed this production earlier in the season, giving the team a wider variety of firepower when defences focus in on Lillard.

Hassan Whiteside was tremendously effective against this depleted Raptors squad. Whiteside was able to battle for 16 rebounds in the contest, but even more impressive was his 7 blocks. His impact in the paint was a a primary reason Toronto shot an absolutely pitiful 36.5% from the field, while getting some high-quality looks for Portland with his presence on the offensive end.

Canadian Connection

Oshae Brisset and Chris Boucher combined for 24 points off the bench for the Raptors. Despite the loss the offensive showcase is invaluable moving forward. The scoring outburst came alongside 15 rebounds as well as efficient shooting from deep at 57% (4/7). This high-quality scoring will ease the work load for Toronto’s starting unit as the team deals with injuries.

Up Next

The Raptors won’t get a chance to rest as they travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets (15-24) for a back to back. Toronto looks to get back in the win column as they look to repeat the performance they had against the Hornets on November 18. Tune in tonight, January 8th at 7:00 PM/EST to enjoy what should be an exciting contest.