A close battle in regulation extended to overtime and resulted in one of the wildest games in recent Raptors memory for the fans at the O2 Arena. Knotted at 126-126 heading into the third extra five-minute period, the Nets opened reeled off seven straight points from Sasha Vujacic and Travis Outlaw. But the Raptors replied with a 10-2 run capped by a Leandro Barbosa three with 20.9 to play to grab a 136-135 advantage.
Travis Outlaw then drew a shooting foul on James Johnson and hit both free throws to put the Nets up one. The Raps had one more chance out of a timeout, but Andrea Bargnani's long jumper rimmed out and it was over.
Scary thought: Deron Williams isn't even 100 per cent right now. The Nets newly-acquired franchise floor general is playing through nagging injuries to both hands which continues to affect his shooting (7-20 FGM-A on Saturday), but still finished with 21 points and 18 assists in nearly 53 minutes of work in the tail end of a back-to-back. His head coach also believes that toughness is contagious.
"Deron Williams' spirit has infiltrated out team and it's a positive spirit," said Avery Johnson post-game.
Ed Davis deserves recognition for acquitting himself very well against a beefier Nets front line in both games this weekend. On Saturday, Davis turned in another efficient night from the floor by making 4-6 shots for 12 points and adding 15 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.
"He's getting better from the free throw line -- he missed a couple tonight -- but at the same time he's starting to shoot the ball a whole lot better," said Jay Triano. "He's being aggressive and assertive on the defensive end and we think his growth is really starting to accelerate."
"This was a great game for our guys to play in and I think anytime we can put out young players in situations where it's a chance to win a game on a last possession. This is part of the growth that we're looking for with out young guys and they had to battle in this game. I thought we got down and didn't play very well in the first half and I thought after that our field goal percentage was significantly better and that we guarded a whole lot better."
- Jay Triano, on how the game turned
Wed., Mar. 9 vs. Jazz
7PM, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors now return to Toronto, where they begin a stretch of four of their next five games at ACC against the new-look Jazz. It's been a period of massive change for the Jazz and they've struggled to just two wins in their last 10 games. The Raptors were dropped 125-108 by the Jazz back on November 3, with Andrea Bargnani scoring 26 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the loss.
|9||Turnovers for the Raptors, vs. 17 for the Nets|
|10||3-pointers made by the Raptors, matching a season-high|
|27||Times tied in Saturday's game|
|14-5||Block totals favouring the Nets|
|58-48||Points in the paint favouring the Nets|
|"Right now, I'm only thinking about the loss, of course. We had three overtimes so everybody's pretty disappointed right now, that's all we're thinking about. "|
- Andrea Bargnani on his strong performance
|"Early in the season, we don't win this game. But we've had some guys that are growing up."|
- Nets head coach Avery Johnson on surviving triple-OT
|"We kept fighting the whole time. We were seven points down but we came back and had the chance for a win. It's a tough loss but we played every minute."|
- Jose Calderon, on how the Raps' competed