Although the Toronto Raptors haven't defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in almost five years, they figure to give them all they can handle this time around if their recent efforts are any indication.
Seeking an eighth victory in nine games, Toronto tries to avoid a ninth consecutive loss to visiting Portland as these teams square off Wednesday night.
Since pulling out a 116-109 double-overtime win over the Trail Blazers (16-14) on Jan. 13, 2008, the Raptors (11-20) have been outscored by an average of 10.8 points in dropping the last eight matchups in this series. Despite holding Portland to 0 for 20 from 3-point range, Toronto saw those woes continue with a 92-74 road defeat Dec. 10, losing Andrea Bargnani to a ligament tear in his right elbow in the process.
While most assumed Bargnani's injury would set back the Raptors, who were 4-18 at the time, even more, his absence has instead allowed others to step up. Toronto enters the new year having won seven of eight while ...