After answering questions during a postgame television interview on the Air Canada Centre court, Damian Lillard sauntered off the hardwood, slipped past a security guard into a tunnel and took a hard right toward the Trail Blazers’ locker room.

A few steps before he reached the locker room door, he shook his head in disbelief, cracked a smile and uttered two words aloud:

“Gut check.”

That’s one way to look at it.

The Blazers fumbled away a 17-point fourth-quarter lead on Sunday, but regrouped just in time to continue their sizzling start to the season, defeating the Toronto Raptors 118-110 in a wild and wacky outing before 17,945.

It was a perplexing game that simultaneously left you shaking your head in disbelief at the Blazers’ late-game ineptitude, while also marveling at their skill, ball movement and ability to overcome the oddest of obstacles. The Blazers did everything they could to sabotage themselves, as Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland endured foul trouble all game, their defense was shaky and they were unable to put the pesky Raptors away.

Afterward, it was hard to decide whether to praise the Blazers (8-2) for a hard-fought road victory that was their sixth overall win in a row or lament their late-game near-miss. So they chose to do both.

“We’re all disappointed that we let the game get to overtime,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “But that being said … this is one of the toughest road games in the league, coming into Toronto for the afternoon game. So I take away more positives than anything.”

Things certainly were positive for most of the game. Showcasing a crisp, unselfish and in-sync offense that was moving the ball, scoring in a variety of ways and controlling the pace, the Blazers looked like they were cruising to a dominant win in the fourth quarter. After Thomas Robinson’s dunk gave the Blazers a 91-74 lead with 8:18 left, the Blazers were in cruise control. Or so it seemed.

Suddenly, DeMar DeRozan started swishing pull-up jumpers, Rudy Gay started driving the lane for dunks and layups, and Jonas Valanciunas was completing rebound dunks. The Raptors (4-7) made nine field goals in a row during one scorching stretch. And, with 4.3 seconds left in regulation — after LaMarcus Aldridge missed a 19-foot jumper and the Raptors won a jump ball on the other end — the Blazers’ lead was down to 102-100 and Toronto had a chance to force overtime or steal a victory at the buzzer.