The Nets roared out of the locker room after the half tonight in the Air Canada Centre with defensive intensity on their minds.
They forced bad shots, hit the boards, and got offensive contributions from Alan Anderson and Paul Pierce. All of a sudden, a five point halftime deficit had swelled to a ten point advantage - and the red-hot Nets looked to be one step closer to supplanting the Raptors atop the Atlantic division.
Then the engine shut off, and the Nets' 2014 freight train coasted silently to a halt.
The Raptors' 26-3 run spanning the 3rd and 4th quarters wasn't a huge surprise. The Nets played a long, taxing, double OT game against the World Champion Miami Heat last night in the Barclays Center. After an emotional win, they traveled overnight to Toronto - arriving at their hotel after 4 am. They entered the game with several players on minutes restrictions and missing starting center Kevin Garnett, who gave everything he had last night against the Heat.
There were some highlights for the Nets. Pierce had another solid effort with 15 points on 5-9 shooting in only 31 minutes. Mason Plumlee got his first NBA start in place of Garnett, and while his offense wasn't all that effective (3-5, 6 points), he did play with a lot of energy and recorded four blocks. Anderson and Mirza Teletovic each had short bursts where they brought the Nets back from deficits.
DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors' season leader in scoring, was the game's only offensive standout. He poured in 26 on 8-16 shooting and at times seemed to be playing at a higher speed than everyone else on the court. He finished the 3rd quarter by scoring the last seven points and helping deal the Nets that knockout blow.
The loss drops the Nets to an 8th place tie with the Charlotte Bobcats for the East's final playoff spot. They are now four games behind Toronto for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Nets are off until Thursday, when they will take on the Atlanta Hawks in London. That game has a 3 pm EST start. Mark your calendars!
- Box Score - NBA.com
- DeRozan Takes Flight (Video) - NBA.com
- Denied (Video) - NBA.com
- Big Time Introduction (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets fall to Raptors, 96-80 (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- Kidd discusses 96-80 loss to Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- Teletovic on Nets lack of offense after loss (Video) - YES Network
- Plumlee happy to get minutes in loss to Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- HIGHLIGHT: Mason Plumlee Gets Up For The Alley-Oop (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- DeRozan scores 26 as Raptors beat Nets 96-80 - Ian Harrison - Associated Press
- Rapid Reaction: Raptors 96, Nets 80 - Mike Mazzeo- ESPN New York
- Nets ran out of gas in Toronto - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Garnett gets day of rest - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- After big win over Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets have five-game winning streak stopped by Toronto Raptors - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Raptors coach gives Jason Kidd credit, says Nets have a personality now - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Nets’ 5-game win streak snapped in loss to Raptors - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Fatigued Nets routed by Raptors in fourth quarter - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Kevin Garnett takes a rest after 2OT win over Miami - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets look tired in 96-80 loss to Raptors - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Andrei Kirilenko talks LeBron James - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Undefeated In 2014 No More: Raptors 96, Nets 80 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- After Streak Snapped, Will Brooklyn's Winning Continue? - Max Weisberg - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets sputter north of the border, look to get back on track across the pond - Jon Presser - SNY Nets
The Streak is Over - Ian Parfrey - Brooklyn Fans
- Raptors tough out a win over Nets on Drake Night at ACC - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Drake loving life as Raptors ambassador - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun