‘Twas the worst performance of the season for the young Nets.
But there were some saving graces.
The Nets, playing in the second night of a back to back, suffered a 120-87 loss to the Raptors, Friday night in Toronto. This is just the second time all season that the Nets have lost by 15 or more points.
Jahlil Okafor played his first game as a Net and his first game since November 7. Okafor logged 23 minutes and finished with 10 points and four rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting.
The big surprise, however, was Nik Stauskas who finished the night with 22 points on 5-of-7 shooting from deep. Stauskas set a franchise record for most 3-pointers in a Nets debut. He was also two points shy of tying his career-high for points. Talk about a debut.
The Nets, without DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe, played the second night of a back-to-back against a tough Toronto team. They looked lackadaisical to start and went down by 10 after the first quarter.
They needed some fresh legs, somebody playing with a chip.
All eyes were on Okafor who checked in and with a little less than five minutes in the first. But it was newcomer “Sauce Castillo” Stauskas who hit four 3-pointers in a row early and gave the Nets their first lead of the night, part of a 14-2 run. He finished the half with 15 points and five rebounds in nine minutes, but the Raptors finished the on a 19-4 run, led by 14 at half and never looked back.
Toronto out-scored the Nets 33-20 in the third and led by 27 entering the fourth. Game over.
The Nets entered Friday shooting 28 percent from 3-point range in the past two games. They finished the night 7-of-23 from deep, 2-of-16 from players not named Nik Stauskas. It wasn’t just the shooting. It was the 22 turnovers that led to 35 points for Toronto.
The starters combined for just 28 points on 13-of-37 shooting. DeMar DeRozan out-scored them on his own with 31 points on the night, while Toronto shot 56 percent from the field.
OKAFOR, STAUSKAS SUIT UP
Okafor made his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on his 22nd birthday and logged 23 minutes. Okafor looked a bit uncomfortable sitting out on the perimeter for most of the game. He’s a player known for his play in the post, but his best work came facing up.
Going forward, the Nets will have to figure out if they want to adjust their offense to fit his play or if he’ll need to expand his range to fit into the system. In order for this project to work, it probably needs to be the latter.
As for Stauskas, he looks like your prototypical Nets wing that can handle the rock and hit the three ball. He should fit in just fine in Kenny Atkinson’s pace-and-space offense.
Combined, the two finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, two assists on 11-of-20 shooting.
CARROLL SITS IN RETURN TO TORONTO
DeMarre Carroll sat out in this one to rest. Raptors fans were ready to give Carroll a hostile response after his comments when Toronto traded him. "I wasn't happy, my agent, we thought the style of ball was going to be different, it was going to be more team-oriented, but I guess it was still ISO, so I thought they would have moved me last year, but that didn't happen."
The Nets and Raptors next face off in Toronto on March 23.
The Nets are now 11-17 with two straight disappointing losses. These types of losses are bound to happen, but they’re now 4.5 games out of the eighth seed. Two days ago, they were 2.5 games out. It’s early, and nobody will tell you they’re focusing on the playoffs, but it’s kind of hard not to when it’s right there in front of you.
For a different perspective, head over to Raptors HQ.
They’ll face the Pacers at home on Sunday.
- Game Report: Toronto Raptors 120, Brooklyn Nets 87 - NBA.com
- Highlights: Toronto Raptors 120, Brooklyn Nets 87 (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Nik Staukas (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Jahlil Okafor lays it in (Video) - NBA.com
- Hollis-Jefferson scoops in a lay-up (Video) - NBA.com
- LeVert slams it down (Video) - NBA.com
- Whitehead cradles it in (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post Game Plus: BKN@TOR (Video) - Chris Shearn & Mike Fratello - YES Network
- Atkinson on loss to Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson says Okafor will play (Video) - YES Network
- Okafor on Nets debut (Video) - YES Network
- Stauskas on Nets debut (Video) - YES Network
- Mike Fratello on the Nets upcoming schedule (Video) - YES Network
- Lowry goes for triple-double as Raptors rout Nets 120-87 (Dec 15, 2017) - AP
- New Nets debut in embarrassing road blowout - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets get first glimpse of what is to come with Okafor, Stauskas - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas finally see action in Nets’ biggest loss of season - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets pounded by Raptors in debuts of Nik Stauskas, Jahlil Okafor (Game Grades) - The Brooklyn Game
- BROOKLYN NETS 87-120 TORONTO RAPTORS: THREE TAKEAWAYS - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets
- Lowry triple-double sparks Raptors past Nets - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Raptors put Carroll’s parting shots to rest - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
- Starters take care of business, lead Raptors to win over Nets - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Full Court Press: Carroll's Raptors return will have to wait - Ryan Wolstat - Toronto Sun
- DeMarre Carroll deal worked out for both Raptors, Nets - Michael Grange - Sportsnet Canada