Kyle Lowry’s late technical foul, ejection punctuate latest Raptors loss

Title: Kyle Lowry’s late technical foul, ejection punctuate latest Raptors loss
Date: January 29, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about another Raptors’ comeback come up short, a troubling trend.

Any close game that ends with a technical foul is going to have some of the previous 48 minutes obscured. There’s just no way around those cognitive biases, narratives or whatever else you may attribute it to. Whatever happened up to that point, a technical foul — and an ejection, no less — punctuated the game with four seconds remaining.

That’s how the Toronto Raptors saw yet another comeback come up short Friday in a 126-124 loss. This time, it was against the Sacramento Kings, against whom they’d already made one enormous, successful comeback this year. And while that prior edition saw triumph and room for optimism, Friday’s near miss was more cause for concern than a rally cry. The Raptors fell behind 18 thanks to some listless stretches of defence, and even strong nights from Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet couldn’t bring them all the way back. There were positives — Yuta Watanabe and DeAndre’ Bembry — but the more losses like this Toronto piles up, the less patience the Raptors can have for highlighting them.

Still, they did do enough to make it a real game down the stretch. They trailed by 13 entering the fourth. They drew as close as a single point when Watanabe beat the shot clock with a nifty runner over Hassan Whiteside. They had multiple decent chances down four, opting twice for a quicker, easier two as the game shrunk around them. Bembry nearly picked off an inbound pass that would have made that strategy pay off, too.

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