Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
TORONTO—Sunday at Air Canda Centre, the Nets were defeated by the Raptors, 93-87. Brook Lopez rampaged out of the halftime break, scoring 12 straight points for Brooklyn, before ceding to Deron Williams. The point guard went on his own third-quarter spurt, racking up 15 of his 30 points (11-20 FGs, 4-5 FTs) and four of his seven assists to pull the Nets back into a game they trailed by 17.
Williams chipped in another seven points in the fourth, but couldn't single-handedly lift the Nets on a night Raptors swingmen DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay combined for 62 points on 22-of-41 shooting.
A few observations:
- 11:40 – Drive by Andray Blatche pulls the Nets within single digits for the first time in the second half.
- 10:31 – Blatche hits a runner, and it's a six-point game. If they crack five, it's likely this goes down to the wire.
- 5:47 – Short jumper by Joe Johnson pulls the Nets within four, but DeMar DeRozan hits a layup+1. He's up to 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
- 5:34 – Nice drive-and-dish from C.J. Watson to Andray Blatche, who's got 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting in just 21 minutes.
- 5:05 – D-Will hits a pair of free throws, and it's a three-point game.
- 4:47 – Another Toronto miss, and another Toronto foul. They're in the penalty, and Blatche has cut the lead to two.
- 4:06 – Deron's pick-and-roll pass is intercepted when Blatche stumbles, and Rudy Gay ends up with a layup+1. Tough.
- 3:36 – Another pullup jumper for Rudy Gay, who's posted 25 points, 9 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block tonight. Robust line.
- 2:18 – That's a dagger three from DeRozan, who's 3-of-4 from long-range tonight and 12-of-22 overall.
- 1:38 – A transition three for D-Will and it's a four-point game. Hm.
- :24.9 – Joe Johnson just hit a three from way, way behind the line. Cuts the lead to four.
- :22.4 – Kyle Lowry just missed both free throws. Verrrrrry interesting. 20-second TO for the Nets.
- :15.3 – The Nets run a play looking to get a three, but Joe's shot is short and drops on the baseline. DeRozan's free throws likely seal it.
- 10:25 – Brook Lopez hits his second bucket of the quarter, already more than he had in the first half.
- 9:28 – Another two points for Brook, who earned the second chance with an offensive board.
- 8:54 – Two more! Brook is on fire.
- 8:28 – ANOTHER BASKET FOR BROOK. 10 straight points for the big man.
- 6:40 – 12 straight. Yikes. If the Nets can get some stops, they should be able to close the gap.
- 4:14 – A three by DeRozan puts the Raptors up by 20. This is pretty impressive for a team playing out the string.
- 1:44 – 3-Will cuts the lead to 14.
- 1:21 – And now to 11. Here's that run ...
- :39.9 – A triple by Jerry Stackhouse rattles around and out. That would been a huge swing.
The Raptors seemingly exited the locker room in transition, opening the game with a 14-2 run and forcing the Nets to grind their way back. Brooklyn cut the lead to one in the final minute of the first, but Rudy Gay banked in a three at the buzzer to extend the lead back to four, which was quickly extended to 13 when the Nets scored only four points in the first four minutes of the second.
Toronto continued to run throughout the period, and the Nets simply weren't able to keep pace, scoring only 12 points total. They'll need to lock down the Raptors early in the third, while finding much more offense than they provided in the first half. Expect a strong attempt to establish Brook Lopez down low against Aaron Gray as the Nets try to wrangle the game back under control.
- 9:05 – Kris Humphries hits a short jumper, the Nets' first basket of the quarter, ending a 7-0 run by Toronto.
- 7:28 –After checking back in, Deron Williams slices through the Raptors' D for a layup. Nets could use one of his patented five-bucket score/assist runs.
- 4:26 – Another Nets miss, another transition basket for Toronto. They are capitalizing on everything.
- 3:16 – There are a lot of dunks happening.
- 2:42 – Brook Lopez gets a tip in, then follows with a block on the other end. Good sequence.
- 11:08 – Deron Williams' cross-court pass is intercepted by Rudy Gay, who pulls up in transition and hits a triple. That's Rudy at his most dangerous, and a reason the Raptors could improve quickly with a few good pickups in the offseason.
- 9:30 – A transition three for DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors have taken a 10-2 lead.
- 9:09 – Timeout, Nets. That was coming..
- 8:40 – Nets nearly force a 24-second violation, but DeRozan's step-through is good as the shot clock expires. That kind of start right now.
- 6:39 –With Amir Johnson defending, Deron opts to dish, hitting Keith Bogans in the corner for a three.
- 6:06 – Another one for Keith and the Nets have gotten the game within reach.
- 2:52 – Nice driving layup by D-Will.
- 2:34 – A dunk ahead of the pack for Deron. Starting to get used to this.
- :30.9 – Pullup J from Jerry Stackhouse on the baseline, and the Nets are within one.
Brooklyn Nets (47-33)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Keith Bogans||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Gerald Wallace (lower left leg contusion) is OUT.
Toronto Raptors (32-48)
|G · Kyle Lowry||G · DeMar DeRozan||F · Rudy Gay||F · Amir Johnson||C · Aaron Gray|
Andrea Bargnani (avulsion sprain, right elbow) is OUT.
Jonas Valanciunas (flexion extension, neck) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Terrence Ross (sprained left ankle) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Landry Field (strep throad) is DAY-TO-DAY.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|30 PTS, 7 AST, 2 STL, BLK
11-20 FGs, 4-10 3Ps, 4-5 FTs
|On Deron's 3 straight 30-point games:
"It's huge. He's the head of the snake; when he's playing well, we're playing well. He's in a great rhythm right now."