The Raptors and Nets were kept it close for 36 minutes of action, but things unraveled fairly quickly for Toronto in the final frame. Jordan Farmar hit two straight threes to regain the lead for the Nets, before former Raptor Sundiata Gaines gave them a six-point lead with seven of their next nine points.
The Nets pushed their lead to as big as 98-87, but Toronto used a final push to get within 104-97 with three minutes to go. Kris Humphries then drew a foul as Deron Williams triggered a three for a four-point play and a comeback wasn't within reach for the Raptors on night one in London.
We've heard a lot about Kris Humphries simplifying his game and thriving in New Jersey and the Raptors got an up close (and presumably personal) look in London as he finished with 18 points (8-14 FGM-A), 17 rebounds (four offensive) with three assists.
No sign of the somewhat erratic player that tried to do a little too much for the Raptors. Humphries just does the dirty work that's going to keep him on the floor (over 36 minutes on Friday) and help his team succeed. He hustled to chase down rebounds, outworked opponents for easy buckets inside and stuck the shot it well when open from mid-range.
DeMar DeRozan seems to be getting a knack for coming up big on increasingly bigger stages. On Friday, it was a game-high 30 points in front of a crowd that may not have been that familiar with the name coming in, but are going to be wanting more on Saturday.
In an efficient performance that saw him shoot 12-19 from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from the line, DeRozan also delivered some of the game's highlight moments with a patented fast break dunk in the first half and a pair of impressive fadeaway jumpers in the game's dying moments.
"In the second half, Deron Williams kind of took over a little bit, I think he ended up with 14 second-half points and kind of got to where he wanted to go. That hurt us a bit and put us into rotation and it seems like when we'd get a stop, Humphries ends up getting an offensive rebound. We were still up going into the fourth, but Sundiata Gaines comes in and scores a couple of buckets. Their bench outscored ours by 29-13 or something and that was the difference in the early part of the fourth and it stretched from there."
- Jay Triano, on how the game turned
Sat., Mar. 5 @ Nets
3PM, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors wrap up their back-to-back against the New Jersey Nets in London on Saturday afternoon with a second straight sellout expected for the O2 Arena. Both teams now each have a win in the four-game season series, with the final game going at Air Canada Centre on April 10.
|6||Turnovers for the Raptors|
|18,689||Reported attendance at the O2 Arena on Friday|
|7||3-Pointers made by the Nets on 18 attempts|
|16-5||Fast break points favouring t|
|.556||FG% for the Nets, the 1st time in 7 games Toronto has allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50%|
|"The excitement level was high. Sold out crowd. I think everybody was excited to see both teams play and it was definitely fun playing out there."|
- DeMar DeRozan on the first experience in London
|"We're going to have to make some plays. They're tough to handle. Bargnani and DeRozan hurt us tonight. Ed Davis off the bench with his pick and rolls with Barbosa hurt us. But we battled and we hung in there."|
- Nets head coach Avery Johnson on the Nets' win
|"No not really. They just scored those points at the end. We went to a zone to try and stop that and they scored a couple more times."|
- Jose Calderon, on the fourth quarter