NBA

Trail Blazers lose 117-105 to Toronto Raptors, fall below .500 for first time this season: At buzzer

Trail Blazers lose 117-105 to Toronto Raptors, fall below .500 for first time this season: At buzzer

Poor three-point shooting, a season high in turnovers and weak bench play.

The Portland Trail Blazers they followed their recent recipe for disaster closely during a 117-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at Scotiabank Arena.

The only missing ingredient in three previous road losses was poor fourth quarter play. The Blazers, who averaged 18 points in the final quarter of their three previous losses, shot 52.2 percent from the field on Sunday and outscored Toronto 31-28 in the final quarter.

Unfortunately for the Blazers, that effort couldn’t help them overcome an 89-74 deficit that they had overcome in part because of 10 turnovers in the third quarter that led to 12 Raptors points.

By the end of the game, the Blazers had committed 24 turnovers that Toronto turned into 29 points. The Raptors committed just 10 turnovers that led to 13 points for the Blazers.

Many times this season, the Blazers have overcome sloppy turnovers with accurate 3-point shooting. Not this time. Portland shot 9-for-30 on threes (30%) while Toronto, one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, went 12-for-31 (38.9%).

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 34 points and eight assists, but committed seven turnovers. Anfernee Simons scored 22 points and Josh Hart added 18.

The Blazers’ bench, a problem much of the season, managed just three points in 40 combined minutes. Those points belonged to Shaedon Sharpe, who also committed two turnovers. Four more bench players were scoreless.

Coach of the Blazers Chauncey Billups He said he cautioned his team earlier to take care of the ball against the Raptors, who entered the day leading the NBA in turnovers (17.1 per game).

“They’re the best in the league,” Billups told reporters. “So, you have to think we’re going to have some. But 29 points is too much.”

The Blazers’ lack of bench production saw the starters play between 37 and 42 minutes each. That group got the Blazers back into the game in the fourth quarter. The Blazers trailed 109-104 with 1:40 left after Simons scored on a layup in transition. But the Blazers didn’t make a field goal the rest of the way.

“A lot should have gone well to get this one out of us after going down like that,” Billups said.

THAT MEANS

The Blazers (19-20) concluded their three-game road trip at 0-3 to fall below .500 for the first time this season.

“You’re disappointed not to win a game,” Billups said of the trip. “I thought, for the most part, all three games were winnable. Even with how we played.”

The Blazers have lost their last seven road games and the eighth of their last 11 games. Along the way, they’ve lost four games against teams with losing records, including the Raptors (17-23).

GARY PAYTON II

The Blazers guard missed all three games on this trip with a sprained ankle, including Sunday at Toronto. He was listed as probable Saturday night before being downgraded to questionable and then out.

Then

The Blazers host Orlando at 7pm on Tuesday at the Moda Center.

— Aaron Fentress | [email protected] | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters i podcasts





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