Raptors 115, Nets 105: Russell Scores 27 but Brooklyn Falls Short in Fourth

The Nets closed within five points in fourth quarter before Raptors pulled away

The Brooklyn Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors 115-105 at Barclays Center Wednesday night as the race for the Eastern Conference's final three playoff spots continued to tighten with three games remaining for Brooklyn.

The Nets trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before D'Angelo Russell scored nine points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to help them get back within five points at 94-89. But they could close the margin no further against the Eastern Conference's No. 2 team.

The Raptors answered with three 3-pointers in less than two minutes and led by 11 with just under four minutes to go after a pair of Serge Ibaka free throws. They were up 12 before another Russell surge brought Brooklyn back within five. Three Russell 3-pointers in 80 seconds had the Nets within 110-105 with 1:24 to go.

Russell scored 18 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter while making 4-of-5 3-pointers. He added seven rebounds and six assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 14 points, five assists and four rebounds. Jarrett Allen scored 12 points with nine rebounds, DeMarre Carroll had 12 points and Rodions Kurucs scored 11.

The Raptors led the Nets 57-50 at halftime after leading by 14 early in the quarter.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Fred VanVleet and Ibaka in the final 30 seconds of the first quarter gave the Raptors a 34-22 lead, and Pascal Siakam's drive to the hoop open to open the second quarter gave Toronto its biggest lead of the half.

The Nets responded with an 8-2 run -- four points each from Ed Davis and Carroll -- to cut the lead to 38-30. Brooklyn got within five points late in the quarter on back-to-back Russell baskets before Siakam's finish at the rim put the Raptors up by seven at the break.

Toronto opened the second half by pushing its lead back to double digits and taking a 66-54 lead after outscoring the Nets 9-4 in the opening minutes. The Raptors maintained a double-digit lead for most of the quarter and went into the fourth leading 90-78.

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The Nets are on the road for a back-to-back, visiting Milwaukee on Saturday and Indiana on Sunday. They'll wrap up the regular season at Barclays Center against the Miami Heat next Wednesday.

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