Title: Third straight loss highlights Raptors’ small margin for error against league’s best
Date: December 8, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ first three-game losing streak in over a year and how it highlights a small margin for error against the league’s best.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Nick Nurse wanted the Raptors to give it one more push. Down 19 a few minutes into the fourth quarter, the four starters who were still available checked in and were told they had a few minutes to make a game of it. To that point, it had not been one, with the Raptors finding an early hole despite solid play and then digging a larger one as their play eroded. This was a final opportunity to make a game against a rival respectable.
The message was received, or the Philadelphia 76ers got too comfortable with a large lead, or both. The Raptors cut the lead to 11 when Kyle Lowry was fouled on a 3, OG Anunoby came up with a steal and Lowry finished it on the other end. Three minutes to make an 11-point comeback is a tough task. Nurse felt they’d earned the opportunity to try, and for the final three minutes the Raptors ratcheted up the intensity, full-court pressing and forcing the 76ers into a number of turnovers.
It ultimately came up short, as last-ditch comeback efforts tend to. The 76ers won 110-104, handing the Raptors their third loss in a row for the first time since November 2018.
Check it out on The Athletic.