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But a team that’s as concerned about growth and improvement and salvaging some good out of a season gone awry, they leave California feeling pretty good about themselves.

Yes, they are still outside the Eastern Conference play-in picture with only six games left in the regular season but even a 105-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers had enough promising signs that there was a good feeling and not one of dread in the aftermath.

The loss was the third in four tough games against Denver, Utah and the two Los Angeles teams and in the zero sum world of pro sports, that’s not good enough.

“We need to get some more wins out of this situation, but we’re playing damn good basketball,” Fred VanVleet said. “Just not good enough to beat some of these teams right now. Got to play a little bit better, make a little bit more shots, and make more plays.”

Coach Nick Nurse said he thought the team played 15 good quarters out of 16 on the trip, kids like Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris and Freddie Gillespie continued their ascendant play and things could certainly be worse.

“Played pretty good, not a lot to show for it,” Nurse said of the trip.

Against old friend Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, the Raptors did a ton right and just a little bit wrong in the final 90 seconds.

But a team that’s as concerned about growth and improvement and salvaging some good out of a season gone awry, they leave California feeling pretty good about themselves.

Yes, they are still outside the Eastern Conference play-in picture with only six games left in the regular season but even a 105-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers had enough promising signs that there was a good feeling and not one of dread in the aftermath.

The loss was the third in four tough games against Denver, Utah and the two Los Angeles teams and in the zero sum world of pro sports, that’s not good enough.

“We need to get some more wins out of this situation, but we’re playing damn good basketball,” Fred VanVleet said. “Just not good enough to beat some of these teams right now. Got to play a little bit better, make a little bit more shots, and make more plays.”

Coach Nick Nurse said he thought the team played 15 good quarters out of 16 on the trip, kids like Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris and Freddie Gillespie continued their ascendant play and things could certainly be worse.

“Played pretty good, not a lot to show for it,” Nurse said of the trip.

Against old friend Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, the Raptors did a ton right and just a little bit wrong in the final 90 seconds.