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Raptors crush Nets as road woes continue, 116-104

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets hit a new low when they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers two days back and with Toronto, Golden State and Cleveland in the horizon, things weren’t looking all too great for the struggling Brooklynites.

This time, the Nets (7-20) fell to the Toronto Raptors (20-8), 116-104, Tuesday night in Toronto. With the loss, Brooklyn drops to 1-13 on the road and is tied for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. They’ve lost four of the last five, too.

Oh and Brook Lopez was inactive due to rest, which made things even tougher for Jeremy Lin and his teammates. Lopez and Lin have now played a grand total of nine games of the Nets’ 27 games together.

Brooklyn’s offense failed to get much going in the first half with Lopez sitting out. Lin started for the first time since November 2 and played well, but his help was extremely limited. Defensively – with or without Lopez – the Nets simply had nothing to offer. They’re the worst defensive team in the NBA, allowing over 114.3 points per game.

Toronto is one of the best offensive teams, averaging 112 points per game. That’s a bad combination ... if you’re a Nets fan or enjoy competitive basketball.

It took a little while, but Toronto got cooking towards the end of the half. The game went from a competitive match to a blowout once DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and DeMarre Carroll gained some momentum late in the second. The trio scored 35 of Toronto’s 64 first half points, edging the Nets on a 17-3 run to close out the half with an 18-point lead.

That was about it for the Nets, who never got it within 12, which came in the early going of the third quarter. Toronto answered with a 12-2 run and extended its lead to 20.

So this game was over early.

Toronto shot 47 percent behind the lead of Kyle Lowry (23 points and eight assists), Norman Powell (21 points), DeMarre Carrol (17 points) and DeMar DeRozan (15 points).

Meanwhile, the Nets shot a horrid 39 percent (26.6 3-point), including 16 turnovers and 20 assists.

"We didn't compete the way we needed to in the first half. In the second half they held each other to account and it was much better,” said Kenny Atkinson.

On the bright side, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had his best game of the season with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and steal. He fouled out after logging 21 minutes. Lin played 25 minutes and scored 12 points and dished four assists, while Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in with 14 points and four boards and Trevor Booker had 11. Those were the only Nets in double figures.

"We eased up a little and they took it to another level. We're the type of team that has to compete in every situation," said RHJ

INACTIVES

Brook Lopez (rest), Isaiah Whitehead (foot soreness) and Chris McCullough (D-League). Lopez didn’t travel to Toronto.

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Next up: Golden State Warriors, Thursday at Brooklyn.

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