Raptors 114, Nets 103: Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown Post Double-Doubles

The Brooklyn Nets got off to a hot-shooting start, but it was Toronto’s fast start to the second half that was decisive on Wednesday night in a 114-103 Brooklyn loss.

The Raptors took control by outscoring the Nets 36-22 in the third quarter while making 7-of-13 3-pointers and leading by as many as 18 points before the Nets cut the deficit to 11 going into the fourth quarter. Brooklyn got as close as five points with three minutes to go before the Raptors closed them out.

“We came out flat I thought to start the third,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “Gave up a 10-4 run really quickly. Gave up 31 points in the first kind of seven minutes of the half, which is too much obviously. Just weren’t tight enough defensively. I think a big factor also, our guys just looked tired. Couldn’t make shots. Open looks. They fought, they battled, they tried, but just didn’t have that sharpness. You could see it just wasn’t as fluid and accurate as we normally are.”

Kyrie Irving and Bruce Brown both posted double-doubles for Brooklyn, with Irving finishing with 28 points and 11 rebounds, and coming up a little shy of a triple-double with eight assists.

Brown had 21 points and 14 rebounds, his second double-double in as many nights, matching his career high for rebounds and putting up his first career game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Joe Harris scored 14 points and Landry Shamet had 10.

Brooklyn jumped out to a fast start behind some hot shooting from Harris, who made all four of his 3-point attempts in the first five minutes to power the Nets to an 18-9 lead. When Jeff Green and Irving got in on the action from beyond the arc later in the quarter they fueled a 9-0 run, with consecutive threes from Irving lifting Brooklyn to a 34-21 lead on the way to a 36-23 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

“I thought the start was great,” said Nash. “I thought we started sharp. We came out with purpose and intent, but part is also that we made shots, they missed shots. Then the tables turned a little bit and I thought we fatigued as the game went on. But I was proud of them. They came out locked in and engaged with the right intentions and played well to start the game.”

The Nets still held an eight-point lead with under three minutes to go in the second quarter before the Raptors outscored them 11-5 going into halftime, leaving the Nets with a 58-56 lead at the break.

The Raptors continued their surge into the second half. The Nets were leading 62-59 before Toronto took off on a 31-10 run, making seven of its first nine 3-pointers in the second half and 12 of its first 18 shots overall in taking a 90-72 lead. Brooklyn closed the third quarter with a 9-2 run to get within 92-81 going into the fourth quarter.

Brown’s 3-pointer and two Shamet free throws at the start of the fourth quarter made it a 14-2 Brooklyn run and brought the Nets within 92-86. After a 12-3 Toronto run left the Nets trailing by 15 midway through the quarter, Irving and Brown combined for all the points in a 12-2 run that had the Nets within 106-101 with three minutes to go. But the Raptors scored the next eight points to close the game out.

“They came out with energy, had good pace and offense, and we weren't ready,” said Brown of Toronto’s second-half surge. “And they executed and we didn't execute on the offensive end, and didn’t communicate on the defensive. So they took advantage of that.”