BROOKLYN – The Nets gave everything they had but it wasn’t enough to end an almost three-year losing streak to the Raptors in a painful overtime loss.
The Nets can’t be faulted for effort though as they’ve now played in a franchise-record five straight games that were decided by three or fewer points.
Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 31 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds. The Nets point guard had a chance to win the game in the final 10 seconds of OT as he drove towards the basket yet he was doubled at the rim and missed. Similar to the game against Boston and Indiana, Dinwiddie believed he was fouled on the play, but there was no call given. Some reporters caught the point guard saying, “see, this is what I’m talking about,” on camera, which he addressed after the game.
“I think the statement is self-explanatory,” he said before sarcastically adding. “I’m going to get in the weight room and get better.”
Brooklyn will try to regroup ahead of hosting the Pistons on Wednesday in the final game of its five-game homestand.
“This is an extremely heart-breaking [game] for us,” Caris LeVert said. “We felt we fought hard and we deserved to win the game, but we’ve just got to play better down the stretch.”
Here’s Three Observations:
Spencer Dinwiddie’s Career Night
It was a bittersweet night for the 24-year-old as he rebounded from a slow start to pour in a career-high 31 points. He is the first Nets player since D’Angelo Russell on Oct. 31 (33 points vs. Suns) to have 30 or more points and at times he was almost impossible to guard.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson publicly called on Dinwiddie to attack the rim more and he was incredible doing just that in the fourth quarter. He started off the final 12 minutes with a driving layup and showed some hops with a dunk a few possessions later. That opened the court for him as he finally started hitting shots from behind the arc, going 3-for-5 on threes in the quarter. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey praised the fourth-year guard after the game.
“That’s the best bargain in this league,” Casey said of Dinwiddie. “That young man has really improved his game. I tell young players all the time, he’s taken advantage of an opportunity. He’s playing well. He’s producing. He’s playing like a big-time point guard.”
Nets Can’t Contain Jonas Valančiūnas
Outside of the fourth quarter, Brooklyn did a good job of limiting Toronto’s two main threats in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in regulation. Yet, that just opened up opportunities for the Raptors’ starting center in Valančiūnas, who finished the game with 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting.
DeRozan might have finished with 35 points, but most of that total came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Valančiūnas is a big reason why the game remained close in the first 36 minutes of the game.
Jarrett Allen’s Slam Fest
The rookie center was perfect from the floor 5-for-5 and there’s a good reason why: all of those were dunks. Allen was a one-man highlight reel for Brooklyn as he was progressively ferocious on each slam.
Allen is obviously still a work-in-progress as he needs to bulk up and develop his post game. However, it is encouraging to see the 19-year-old play fearlessly at times on both sides of the floor. Off the court, he can be shy and polite but on it, he’s almost the exact opposite.