The trend of playing well, only to lose in the final few minutes of a ball game is common for the the 2013-14 New Orleans Pelicans. Wednesday night, the script wrote itself again.

To be fair, the Pelicans (27-40) have been short handed all year, but they were extremely short handed last night. All-Star Anthony Davis missed the game due to an upper respiratory infection. Without him, the Pelicans played well for awhile, leading by as many as 14 in the 2nd quarter. Despite losing the big lead, they still led the Raptors by 4 with only 4:26 left in regulation. Unfortunately, basketball games are played in 4 full quarters quarters, not 3.

Former Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez took over late for Toronto, scoring 5 straight points in the final 3 minutes to end the Pelicans hopes of upsetting one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

"I was blessed enough to be out there at the end of the game," said Vasquez. "I like close games, man. I'm not afraid. I would never be afraid. I'm the type of player that would risk everything. That's how I got point guard job here in New Orleans."

Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in a double-double for New Orleans, finishing with19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Tyreke Evans scored 18, while Eric Gordon dropped 15. However, all of Gordon's scoring came in the first half. After getting into foul trouble in the 3rd, Gordon never found his offensive rhythm again.

Rebounding was dominated by Toronto as the Raptors outrebounded the Pelicans 48-34.

"Obviously, with a guy that can rebound like Anthony (Davis), it's hard to make up for that," said Pelicans Center Jeff Withey.

Yet they did...for 44 minutes. In the end, they couldn't make a basket.

New Orleans hits the road for a Friday night matchup in Atlanta with the Hawks. Tip-off is set for 6:00. Saturday they return home to host the Miami Heat.