CHARLOTTE - Jonas Valanciunas took a quick glance at the stat sheet, no longer banned post-game, crumpled it up into a ball and hurled it across the locker room. At the bottom of the page the final score read "100-95" - Torontos third loss in four games - but it was how they got there that had the Raptors young centre shaking his head as he destroyed the evidence. In the less literal sense he wasnt alone. The Raptors locker room was filled with distraught players drowning their sorrows in a sea of chicken fingers and mac and cheese at the post-game buffet, eager to forget about their most recent setback. "We cant really panic, but weve got to hold each other accountable," said Greivis Vasquez, moments after his team failed to close out what would have been a historic comeback in eventual defeat to a familiar, albeit perplexing foe, the Charlotte Bobcats. "Its easy when we win and you smile and youre cool, youre hanging around, but when you face adversity or obstacles, thats when you really show your character, so now weve really got to show what [were] made of." For Vasquez - who helped engineer Torontos late-game run - his teammates and his coach, there were no moral victories to be celebrated after cutting a 30-point third quarter deficit to one with 26 seconds remaining. No moral victories, not anymore, not if they fancy themselves a playoff contender. Instead the question was, how could they fall behind by 30 to the Bobcats - who had lost 10 of 13 and were playing without Kemba Walker - in the first place? "Effort," Kyle Lowry said, and repeated six times in a three-minute scrum. For the final 16 minutes they played with plenty of it, outscoring the nemesis Bobcats 54-29 to close out the game. For the first 32 it was nowhere to be found. "Thats it, effort," the Raptors point guard continued. "That simple. Effort." Its not that simple, not for the teams fans or coaching staff that were left to wonder where that effort went for two and a half quarters in a game the Raptors sorely needed. "Its a long season but you tell a lot about who you are in these situations," Dwane Casey said. "Today was a gut-check game and the fourth quarter we turned it around but its about what we did in the first three quarters thats disappointing." Coming off a loss to the corpse of the Los Angeles Lakers 24 hours earlier, and an equally disheartening defeat in Boston last week, the Raptors scored a season-low 11 points in the first quarter. For the second straight day they attempted nearly three times as many three-pointers as free throws and allowed the leagues 28th ranked offensive team to score 100 points on 49 per cent shooting. The loss was their seventh straight in Charlotte to a Bobcats team that has been varying degrees of terrible throughout that span of Raptors futility. "Weve got to take these two losses to heart," said Vasquez who had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, his best line as Raptor. "Were professionals, we know what were playing for, so, [theres] no excuses on this team. Some guys just got to step up and understand what were playing for." "I think were fine," he continued. "Weve just got to wake up and understand that one loss cant really take us down, but one win can really build some good momentum." Veteran bruiser Chuck Hayes put it best. "Its an emotional roller coaster in this league." A week ago they were riding high, winners of three straight and eight of 10, since then theyve crashed back down to earth. Where do they truly stand in the grand scheme of things? Likely somewhere in the middle. Success in the league is fickle, as Casey knows and Hayes has learned in his years of service. "After the momentum we had in December you would kind of hope it would shift over into the New Year but the New Year aint been so good to us so far," said Hayes, who recorded his first double-double - 12 points and 13 rebounds - since Apr. 11, 2011. "But theres a lot of basketball left." Hayes, along with fellow reserves Vasquez and Patrick Patterson, played the bulk of the fourth quarter in place of frontcourt tandem Valanciunas and Amir Johnson, who each played less than 19 minutes, and Terrence Ross, who logged 21. For the fourth straight game Valanciunas failed to eclipse 23 minutes or score in double figures, shooting 6-for-21 over that stretch. On Monday he was overwhelmed in a daunting matchup with crafty, low-post shaman Al Jefferson. The Raptors sophomore bit on Jeffersons pump fakes, got beat on the boards and most alarmingly let his frustration get the better of him. Jefferson, who had a double-double after the first quarter, finished with 22 points and 19 boards. Fellow sophomore Ross has also seen his performance slip over the teams recent slide, recording just one point on Monday, shooting 0-for-6. Meanwhile, Johnson connected on just one of his four attempts and has exceeded 10 rebounds in one of his last 15 contests. "Weve got to find a start that fits us," said Casey, who wouldnt rule out an eventual lineup change but insisted its too early to make that call. "You cant spot any team in this league 25-30 points and expect to be successful." The Raptors will be given a much-needed day of reflection before hosting the Mavericks on Wednesday. It will be the first time theyve faced a winning team in seven games. After squandering three golden opportunities in six days, it could be the wakeup call they need. "Weve got another game," said Hayes. "This is not it, [its] just a little adversity and weve got to find a way to respond." Jordan Akins Jersey . 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Chicago got on the board at 6:53 of the first on the power play, when crisp passing was finished off by a wrister from Toews in the slot, and it was a 2-0 game six minutes later as Shaw tucked the puck in from in front. The Blackhawks made it a 3-0 game when Kane and Brad Richards worked the puck with Kane stuuffing in the rebound from the left side for his 22nd of the season.dddddddddddd It was 4-0 halfway through the second when Teravainen snapped home a rebound for his second of the season. Lessios first career goal came with 2:06 to play in the second as he took a pass in the slot and shifted to the backhand before lifting it past Raanta to get the Coyotes on the board. Chicago got the goal back just over a minute later as Shaw scored with 41 seconds left in the stanza and Rundblad lit the lamp with 5:49 to play in the third to account for the final score. Game Notes Chicago starts a seven-game road trip on Wednesday in Pittsburgh ... 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