Notebook: Nets 94, Raptors 88



Posted Dec 12, 2012 10:53 PM

By Duane Watson, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Brooklyn Nets (12-9) defeated the Toronto Raptors (4-19) 94-88 at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night. The Nets snapped a five-game losing streak and played their seventh game in a row without center Brook Lopez (strained right foot). Brooklyn was led by Joe Johnson with 23 points, C.J. Watson with 16 points off the bench, while Andray Blatche added 14.

The Raptors rode a 45-37 lead into halftime by bringing energy, scoring in the paint often and being active on defense. Yet they were outscored 31-19 in the third quarter, keyed by a 16-6 run as the Nets took only their second lead of the game into the third quarter, 68-64. The Nets extended their lead to 12 points in the fourth before the Raptors clawed back, but the undermanned squad fell short in the end.

The Raptors losing ways continued, dropping their sixth game in a row after returning from a winless five game road trip. Toronot was led by Ed Davis' double-double, tying his career-high in points with 24 and 12 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas added 15 points. Jose Calderon also chipped in for the Raptors with a double-double of 10 points and 15 assists. The Raptors had a short line-up with Kyle Lowry, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza out with injuries, and Amir Johnson serving a 1-game suspension.

QUOTABLE: "The first half, we couldn't get anything going. We bounced back in the third quarter, something we definitely needed to do because we needed this win in the worst way."

-- Nets guard Deron Williams

THE STAT: The Nets shot 26-for-35 from the free-throw line (74.3 percent), while the Raptors shot 10-for-17 (58.8 percent). The Raptors shot poorly, but more importantly, they put the Nets on the line twice as many times as they got to the charity stripe.

TURNING POINT: The Nets went on a 16-6 run with 5:35 left in the third quarter, taking their first lead since the opening quarter to put them up 66-62. They maintained it through the quarter and didn't surrender the advantage for the rest of the game.

HOT: Watson scored all of his 16 points in the second half and was key to the Nets comeback, shooting 4-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point line.

NOT: The Raptors' shooting guards -- DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and Mickael Pietrus -- collectively shot 2-for-11 from behind the 3-point line and 10-for-29 from the field. They weren't much better defensively, as Johnson and the Nets guards were able to establish themselves often and effectively in the second half.

GOOD MOVE: Nets coach Avery Johnson inserted Watson into the lineup with 4:18 left in the third quarter, and he was key in the Nets' comeback quarter -- scoring eight points in the next three minutes.

NOTABLE: The Raptors shot a season best 49.3 percent (37-for-75) from the field. ... Brooklyn leads the season series 2-0. ... The Raptors were without Kleiza (sore right knee), Lowry (sore right tricep), Bargnani (bruised right elbow), and Johnson (1-game suspension). ... While Alan Anderson and Landry Fields were still unavailable due to ongoing injuries, Quincy Acy arrived in the arena just before tip-off after being recalled from his assignment with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League. ... Jerry Stackhouse was inactive for the Nets tonight. Referee Courtney Kirkland recorded his first career block on a Kris Humphries free throw attempt during the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Friday vs. Dallas, Sunday vs. Dallas, Tuesday @ Cleveland. For the Nets, Friday vs. Detroit, Saturday @ Chicago, Tuesday vs. Utah.