Drive playoff hopes take hit in loss to Raptors 905

The Grand Rapids Drive (22-23) and their playoff aspirations took a huge hit on Wednesday night in a 112-87 loss to the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Raptors 905 (35-11).

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From the opening tip, the 905 took over the 616 scoring the first nine points of the game and holding Grand Rapids to a season-low in points in the first quarter while getting out to a 14-point lead at 26-12. The Raptors then scored 34 points in the second quarter but the Drive scored 32 of their own to stay just within striking distance at the half, 60-44.

Unlike their comeback win over the 905 back in early February, the Drive would have no such luck in this one. Grand Rapids shot just 28% from the field (19% from behind the arc) and could not stop the Raptors from growing the lead in both the third and fourth quarters, eventually wining by the 25-point margin. Ray McCallum had one of his worst nights in of the season, missing all nine of his shots from the field. Kevin Murphy scored 26 points to lead Grand Rapids and Henry Ellenson, playing on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, scored 19 points.

Brady Heslip scored 22 points to lead the victors, while Axel Toupane, Edy Tavares and EJ Singler each recorded double-doubles. The Toronto affiliate shot over 50% from the field, over 40% from 3 and over 90% from the FT line.

The Drive still have a slim chance of making the playoffs, but must leap over Delaware 87ers and Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the process, with only five games left in the regular season. The remaining schedule is not friendly, but with their next two games against the Mad Ants, it can still be accomplished.