WASHINGTON -- This time, the Raps' prayers here were only half answered.
A buzzer-beating, three-point attempt, which Anthony Parker somehow got off in a sea of white shirts, found the mark to send a game the Raptors had no business even being in into overtime.
But unlike last season, when Morris Peterson's half-court heave did the same thing, this time the overtime did not go Toronto's way.
And no one in the building last night could honestly say the Raptors deserved better.
One look at the rebounding stats, particularly on the offensive end, told the story. And if that didn't, the fact that the Wizards won the game, 108-104, without Gilbert Arenas, who has not played since September, but also without Caron Butler, who was a late pre-game scratch with a hip flexor, certainly did.
Washington's 19 offensive rebounds did something very few people, let alone stats , have been able to do and that was render Sam Mitchell just about speechless.
"I don't know how to critique a game when you give up 19 offensive rebounds," Mitchell said. "Did we take bad shots? Yeah, everyone takes some bad shots. Did we make some silly turnovers? Yeah, everyone makes some silly turnovers. But I don't know what to say when this is what, three or four games when a team has gotten 15 or more offensive rebounds against us."
Adding insult to injury was the fact that six of those rebounds came from rookie Dominic McGuire, a 6-foot-9 product out of Fresno State who had a grand total of six in his previous 32 NBA games.
"I don't know where we're going to find it but some kind of way we have to learn to box out and go get the ball," Mitchell said. "We're just not doing it. We're not going to be a good basketball team until we learn to box out. We can play as good a defence as defence can be played but if we're not going to go get the ball, it's going to be tough."
In the five-minute overtime alone, when the Raps were outscored 13-9, Washington pulled down nine rebounds, four of them under Toronto's basket. The Raps had two defensive rebounds in the extra frame. For the game the Wizards turned those 19 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points. The Raps had eight.
"When teams get 14 or 15 more possessions than you get, it's hard to win," Mitchell said. "You have to shoot a very high percentage."
It didn't help matters either that outside of Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon and Kris Humphries, no one could barely buy a basket.
Bosh, Calderon and Humphries were a combined 27-of-42 shooting.
The rest of the team went a horrid 10-of-45 from the field.
"I'm looking at the stat sheet and if I even hit a couple of shots maybe we're not in that position," Parker said when talk turned to his overtime-forcing three. "I think (Calderon) and (Bosh) played well and shot the ball well, but I just couldn't get it going. I can't help but think if I hit a couple of shots, we're not in that position."
Without Butler, the Wizards leaned on Antawn Jamison and he didn't disappoint with a team-high 24 points and 20 rebounds. Andray Blatche, who got the start in place of Butler, filled in nicely with 19 as well as playing some tough defence.
About the only good news for the Raptors on the night is that they'll get a chance to avenge this one tonight when they face the Wizards again in a rare back-to-back, home-and home.