No NBA team has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. Toronto will try to change that as it faces the Washington Wizards in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final on Sunday.
"We don't care too much about it," Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan said. "Records are almost meant to be attempted to be broken. But we can't feed into it. We feed into it we've already lost."
A win Sunday returns the series to Toronto for Game 5 on April 29. That, they say, is their entire focus. The problem is figuring out how to do it.
Prior to an afternoon practice at George Washington University on Saturday, several Raptors conceded they've played well enough to win two of the three games so far — Game 1 in Toronto and Game 3 on Friday in Washington, a 106-99 loss.
That game was tied at 88 in the final minutes before a barrage of 3-pointers by Wizards Otto Porter and Paul Pierce put it out of reach.
The Raptors said they were happy that they forced contested shots and credited Washington for making them. Now they have to do the same to steal a game and extend the series.
So far the consistency hasn't been good enough on either end of the floor.
"We're putting together good quarters," Toronto reserve guard Lou Williams said. "They're putting together good games."
DeRozan scored 20 points in the first quarter of Friday's loss and finished with 32. At one point he missed 10 shots in a row. Lowry, battling back spasms, an illness and a leg injury, shot 5-for-22. The all-star point guard has just 28 points in the series after averaging 17.8 points per game in the regular season.
"We just can't get it all together right now," Lowry said. "Bad time to not be on the same wave length."
Together, Lowry and DeRozan are 36-for-109 in three games. But even with their struggles from the field, Lowry says Toronto can't afford to have its top scorers sit back, either.
"I don't mind us taking that many shots because it was in the flow of the game," Lowry said. "At the end of the day, me, DeMar and Lou (Williams) are the scorers. We've got to be aggressive no matter how many shots we take or not. We're going to take shots we normally take and work on."
The Raptors lost in seven games to the Brooklyn Nets last post-season, dropping the final game at home when Lowry had a potential series-winning shot blocked by Pierce at the buzzer. But even with his team on the brink of elimination, Toronto head coach Dwane Casey doesn't see this series as a step back for his team.
"Die doesn't mean we're gonna die. Die means the series is over," Casey said. "Another year of our developing process, of growth as a team, as an organization. This team is not a finished product of what (team president) Masai (Ujiri) and (executive vice president) Jeff (Weltman) are going to put together, of what we're going to develop.
"I think we're probably a step ahead of the process as far as growing what we have as far as a team."