Game Rap: Raptors 119, Nets 109
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Terrence Ross threw down a thunderous dunk with 3:17 remaining to put the Raptors ahead by 15 points. After an up-and-down half, Toronto locked in after the halftime break to collect a 119-109 victory against the Brooklyn Nets.
LOWRY, PATTERSON OUT
Patrick Patterson missed his second consecutive game, and sixth of his previous eight, with a sore left knee. Kyle Lowry was in uniform, but sat out the game for rest. Cory Joseph started in place of Lowry, while Lucas Nogueira again started in the power forward position.
LOTS OF POINTS, LITTLE DEFENCE EARLY
Toronto got off to a quick 11-0 start in Brooklyn, but a lack of defensive focus led to the Nets taking control and leading by three at the end of the first quarter. Lucas Nogueira started for the Raptors, but left the game after taking an inadvertent hit from Trevor Booker. He did not return. In the second quarter, Cory Joseph and Brook Lopez led their respective teams scoring 14 points apiece as the Nets went into the half still ahead by three. Toronto gave up 61 points on 53 percent shooting in the half to the Nets with Lopez’s 19 points leading all scorers. DeRozan (16 points) and Joseph (18 points)led the Raptors.
TAKING CONTROL IN THE THIRD
The Raptors came out of the locker room with a renewed intensity on the defensive end in the third quarter. Toronto outscored Brooklyn 34-24 to take a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter, thanks to 67 percent shooting while also holding the Nets to 43 percent shooting in the quarter. The Raptors connected on 14-of-21 field goals while the Nets shot 9-for-21 in the quarter. Caris LeVert led the Nets with 10 in the quarter, while DeRozan’s 10-point quarter led Toronto.
ROLLING IN THE FOURTH
Having found their footing in the third, the Raptors led throughout the final quarter en route to their 28th victory of the season. Toronto shot 59 percent in the quarter while holding the Nets to just 29 percent shooting. DeRozan and Joseph each scored 10 points apiece on a combined 10-for-13 field goals. The Raptors had a well-balanced effort in the final quarter, with all three rookies contributing and affecting the game with their energy and effort. .
RAPTORS PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Cory Joseph started in place of Kyle Lowry and had himself a career night. Joseph scored a career-high 33 points on 15-for-22 field goals in his first start this season. He played 37 minutes and added four rebounds and four assists. The team was a +16 when he was on the floor. DeMar DeRozan had another huge all-around performance, scoring 36 points in 37 minutes. He shot 13-for-28 from the floor and 10-for-10 from the free throw line while adding 11 rebounds, six assists and a steal.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Toronto’s trio of rookies all played a part in Tuesday’s victory. Fred VanVleet took advantage of his opportunity backing up Cory Joseph with Kyle Lowry resting. VanVleet scored 10 points on 4-for-6 field goals to go with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jakob Poeltl played 15 minutes, making his only field goal attempt and adding two rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot, and Pascal Siakam upped the defensive intensity in 15 minutes, blocking three shots to go with four points and two rebounds. The Raptors were a +14 when Siakam was on the floor.
THAT'S A RAP…
“Kyle provides a lot of scoring for us. I knew that would be missing today, so I took it upon myself to try to be more aggressive, try to be aggressive and take what the defence gave me. They were giving up a lot of layups and short floaters, so that’s what I was taking and so I happened to be making them. If they stepped up, then I would try to make the open pass.”
- Cory Joseph after scoring a career-high 33 points
BY THE #’S
53…Percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Raptors who shot 10-for-19 from deep, compared to the Nets who shot 27 percent from three (7-for-26).
44…Rebounds for Toronto, 41 for Brooklyn.
15…Points on 6-for-11 field goals for Terrence Ross who continues to be solid off the bench for the Raptors this season.
52…Percent shooting for the Raptors, 45 percent shooting for the Nets. After Brooklyn shot 53 percent in the first half, the Raptors allowed just 36 percent shooting in the second half as they turned the game around and took control.
THEY SAID IT…
“It’s big. That’s what Cory can do. It’s not surprising for us. He has avery high IQ when it comes to basketball. He’s great at attacking, knocking down shots, and he brought it tonight.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Cory Joseph’s career-high 33 points
“If it were a 24-minute game we would’ve been ok these last few games. Guys found a way. DeMar DeRozan kind of got us going there in the second half. I thought Pascal Siakam came in and changed the game, again, with his energy and focus on the defensive end. That’s what these games are about sometimes. And they’re hard mentally to get prepared for and to get up for. You look at a young and talented team like Brooklyn and you look at their record and you kind of say okay. But no, you can’t play with fire like that. Again, our guys found a way but we got to be better. ”
- Dwane Casey on another game where his team turned things up in the second half
“It’s big for a rookie to come in and play like he did. Hold down the court as a back-up point guard. Especially tonight. They’ve got great backup point guards as well and he came in and held it down.”
- DeMar DeRozan on rookie Fred VanVleet backing up Cory Joseph
“I’ve seen him for a while now, and you don’t like when he comes into the game off the bench. I think when you look at their best units, he’s in there, and he’s really developed into a heck of a player. He really has worked on his offensive game and again, finished at the rim.”
- Nets coach Kenny Atkinson on Cory Joseph
The Raptors will head to Philadelphia immediately following the game to prepare for Wednesday’s game against the 76ers at 7 P.M. ET.