Raptors looking tired

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

OAKLAND -- At their best, the Raptors are not capable of giving away a quarter, and they had that point hammered home again last night.

Just 51/2 minutes into last night's game, the Raps were down by 14 and, while they recovered to eventually take a lead midway through the fourth quarter, their early lapses came back to haunt them in a 117-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

A night after a strong, but ultimately losing, effort in Los Angeles against the Lakers, the Raptors came out looking like a team that was on the tail end of five games in seven days on a Western Conference swing.

Problem is, they are just two games into this trip.

Offensively in that first quarter the Raptors were stunningly stagnant. Defensively they looked slow and listless.

Warriors forward Mickael Pietrus and Monta Ellis capitalized in a huge way on the Raps' slow start. Ellis went off for 13 first-quarter points.

"They missed some shots and we were able to get back into the game," coach Sam Mitchell said. "But that first quarter killed us. We played hard and we gave ourselves a chance, but in that first quarter, we came out flat."

Were it not for an energized second unit, led by T.J. Ford and Kris Humphries, and the predictable defensive indifference of the Warriors, this one would not have been close.

When it became apparent that Mitchell was going to get little out of his starting five from anyone not named Anthony Parker, he turned things over to his bench, which brought some energy back into their game and help shrink an 18-point first-quarter deficit to 10 by the half.

But it wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Raptors finally got their first lead -- 96-95, with 6:18 to play. And while it was Ford who ignited the rally, it was also he who played a big part in letting the Warriors come back. A missed two followed by an ill-advised three-point attempt allowed the Warriors to run off eight unanswered points and put the game away.

Ford, for the second game in a row, led the Raptors in scoring, this time with 23 points.

Ellis -- called "unstoppable" by Mitchell, scored 33 for the Warriors on 14-of-19 shooting.


Videos

Photos