Game Rap: Raptors 116, Nets 104
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kyle Lowry checked out of the game with 6:11 remaining and the Raptors ahead by 18 points. DeMar DeRozan sat for the entire fourth quarter for the third time in the previous four games as the Raptors maintained an 18-point halftime lead to roll to a 116-104 victory against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Raptors were without Patrick Patterson on Tuesday with the team opting to give him the night off for rest. The Nets were without Brook Lopez who also sat out for rest.
SOLID FIRST HALF
After getting off to less than optimal starts in their previous few games, Toronto took care of business from the opening tip to final buzzer against the Nets. The Raptors led 29-23 after the first quarter, shooting 52 percent to Brooklyn’s 43 percent, but it was the second quarter where they really broke the game open. Toronto outscored the Nets 35-23 in the second quarter, holding Brooklyn to just 29 percent shooting while making 57 percent of its shots to take an 18-point halftime lead. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with a 15-point half, while DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Lowry each added 10 points.
MAINTAINING THE LEAD
Although things cooled down for Toronto in the third with the team shooting just 41 percent, the Raptors still outscored the Nets 27-26 to maintain their lead — and add a point to it — to go into the fourth ahead by 19 points. With such a large lead, the Raptors started the fourth with DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas on the bench. Neither would end up returning to the game as reserves played much of the quarter and closed out the game.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Norman Powell scored a season-high 21 points off the bench in 27 minutes of action. With Kyle Lowry scoring a game-high 23, Powell wasn’t far behind as he shot 7-for-13 from the floor, 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. He was aggressive from start to finish, regularly driving the lane, finishing through contact and getting to the line with ease. Powell added three rebounds, an assist and he tied a career-high with five steals. As has become custom, Powell made the most of the minutes available to him.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
DeMarre Carroll had another nice game for the Raptors despite playing just 22 minutes. Carroll scored 17 points on 7-for-11 field goals while making 3-of-6 three-point field goals, as he added three rebounds and two steals. The Raptors were a +17 when Carroll was on the floor. Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 23 points in 35 minutes, shooting 8-for-12 from the floor, 3-for-5 from deep, and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, a game-high eight assists, and had three steals and a blocked shot.
THAT'S A RAP…
“Just experience. Being in that situation so many times last year and understanding how to come out in the second half and put your foot on teams' neck and understand how hard we have to play after halftime to give ourself that chance to have fourth quarters off.”
- DeMar DeRozan on being able to put away teams this season and not give up big leads
BY THE #’S
40…Percent shooting for the Nets, 46 percent shooting for the Raptors. Toronto also shot 44 percent from beyond the arc, compared to 29 percent for Brooklyn.
47…Rebounds for Toronto, 42 rebounds for Orlando.
13…Steals for Toronto, nine for Brooklyn.
17…Turnovers for the Nets, leading to 24 points scored by Toronto. In comparison, the Raptors turned the ball over 13 points, but Brooklyn managed just seven points off the miscues.
60…Points in the paint scored by the Raptors, 44 by the Nets.
THEY SAID IT…
“It was good. It’s tough. It’s human nature you see a team that’s growing, a young team that doesn’t have its so-called star player, human nature steps in and you don't really put your foot on the pedal. I thought defensively we had moments, offensively we had moments. We had some different lineups with Pat [Patterson] being out, the ball stuck a little bit because of match up situations. The ball didn’t swing as fluid as we wanted it to but we found a way. I think that’s a sign of maturity, the team coming together a little bit, and understanding time and score situation and finding a way to win.”
- Dwane Casey on seeing the win through
"I pride myself on not only being a two-way player, but versatile, and whatever the team needs, whatever it's going to take me to get on the floor. I had a lot of fun out there. I think the whole team did tonight. Whatever is in front of me, I take it as an opportunity to show what I can do."
- Norman Powell on a solid night on both ends of the floor
“I don't know how many chances or opportunities we had last year where we were able to sit out a fourth quarter and play 30 and under minutes, but it's great. It keeps us feeling good. As long as we take care of business in that first half and in that third quarter and give ourself that chance to be able to rest, I think it's going to be beneficial.”
- DeMar DeRozan on the luxury of being able to get rest in fourth quarters when the team takes and maintains an early lead
“I’m pretty tired. It’s good. It’s a good accomplishment I guess. It’s history so we’ll take it. I’m just trying to do whatever I’m asked to do and do it to the best of my abilities.”
- Fred VanVleet on becoming one of the first Raptors players (along with Bruno Caboclo) to play in a D-League game and a Raptors game in the same day. The two played in a Raptors 905 game during the day at the ACC and then closed out the victory against the Nets in the evening.
The Raptors kick off a six-game stretch in Utah against the Jazz on Friday at 9 P.M. ET.