After dropping a 94-88 decision to Memphis on Sunday, Toronto fell three games behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining. The Celtics hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Raptors, meaning the gap is actually four games.
Regardless, the Raptors intend to fight until the end.
“At this point in my career, I’d rather be playing in a playoff race than in a lottery race like they are in Chicago,” said former Bull Jalen Rose, referring to the trade that sent himself and Donyell Marshall to Toronto for Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams on Dec. 1.
“We just have to win games.”
Unfortunately for Rose and his teammates, the Raptors haven’t been doing much winning at all, dropping four in a row to slip out of the top eight in the conference race.
“I’d say we’d probably have to win six of our last nine, or seven of our last nine to have any chance (of making the playoffs),” Toronto coach Kevin O’Neill said.
Golden State has to do much better than that.
The Warriors stumbled a bit on Tuesday night, as its seven-game winning streak was snapped with a 95-71 loss at Philadelphia. Golden State is 5 1/2 games behind Utah and Denver—with nine games left—for eighth place in the Western Conference.
“It would have been nice if we could have put (a winning streak) together sooner,” Golden State forward Clifford Robinson said. “It’s good to see. We’re playing all right. We’re playing together and we’re moving the ball.”