It used to be that gut-wrenching outcomes like the one here Saturday night would only cost the Raptors a game.

This one probably cost them their dream.

A 122-114 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks dropped the Raptors further out of any realistic chance to even challenge for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and once again underscored the small but significant steps that the team still has to take to be seen as serious post-season participants.

A series of rebounding gaffes — allowing the Bucks to wrack up eight second-chance points late in the fourth quarter and another six in overtime — were crucial factors as the Raptors lost their fourth game in a row.

With just Amir Johnson as a true big man on the court, the Raptors were beaten on the glass repeatedly, off-setting what good the small lineup was doing offensively.

“Amir has been a warrior but it’s a five-man job when we’re small,” said coach Dwane Casey. “I thought ‘small’ generated some offence for us but we paid the price on the offensive boards.”

And in the standings. The Raptors are now 7 ½ games in arrears of the eighth-place Bucks with only 22 games to go.