It’s taken me some time to check in with a recap of this one, because to be honest, Raptors basketball is making me pretty, pretty sad these days. The boys extended their losing streak to three and dropped to 7-11 on the season yesterday, falling 113-94 to Steve Nash and the Suns at the ACC.
The Raptors never led in this one and let it get away in — you guessed it — the third quarter. After trailing by just one at the half, Toronto quickly let the Suns extend their lead to 19 before coming within eight on a Hedo Turkoglu three-point play at the end of the quarter. After starting the fourth with another and-one, Turkoglu proceeded to finish the way he’s finished every game this season — by doing nothing in crunch time. Our prized free agent finished 4-of-14 for 10 points in yet another uninspired effort.
It’s too bad, because strong games from Turkoglu and Jose Calderon (two points, seven assists) would’ve given the Raptors a shot at handling one of the league’s top teams. Chris Bosh was terrific, finishing with 30 points and 17 boards, and Andrea Bargnani kept Toronto afloat with a strong start en route to 24 points and seven boards. The Raps’ main downfall was the long ball — they finished a dreadful 1-of-20 from three-point land, compared to the 13 long range bombs the Suns dropped. If you’re a team that relies on shooting, you’re never gonna win with outings like that.
Of course, I can’t leave without mentioning the masterpiece of an effort by that young Canadian kid, Steve Nash. Nash finished with 20 points and 16 dimes, nailing that patented little fadeaway in the paint a couple times in the fourth to help put it away. The man is incredible.
Anyway, it gets a bit easier with Gilbert Arenas and the washout Wizards in town Tuesday to help the Raptors get back on track. It better be a win, because afterward it’s road time for three games.