The Raptors just returned from a 1-3 road trip, dropping the final three games that left the team, and especially All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, scratching heads to come up with some solutions.
After opening their road swing with a convincing victory in Atlanta over the Eastern Conference runaway leading Hawks, the Raptors were zapped in Houston and then lost winnable contests in New Orleans and Dallas. A lack of scoring and fourth quarter let-downs were the crucial factors.
Lowry was particularly hard on himself after Thursday's practice, describing his play as "trash."
In the two most recent losses he barely shot 25 percent in the fourth quarter as the Raptors gave away big leads.
"I'm trying to figure it out right now," Lowry said Thursday. "That's why I'm working hard and what I'm trying to do."
It's not just Lowry, but the entire Raptors team that has seen their scoring average drop from 107 points per game in January to only 93 in their last nine games. They've been especially poor in the fourth quarter allowing opponents to hit a high percentage of shots.
That's something Golden State's dynamic duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson did in their last meeting in California Jan. 2 when the pair combined for 52 points in the Warriors' 126-105 pasting of the Raptors.
The Warriors are one of the NBA's top road teams, too, with a league-high 20 away wins, though they lost Thursday to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 110-99.
Raptors' offensive force DeMar DeRozan, averaging 18.1 points per game on the season (second only to Lowry's 18.3), needs to find his early season form after returning from a leg injury. DeRozan has only averaged 14 points in the last three losses, while hitting a little over one-third of his shots.