However, there was some daylight on Sunday, as the Raptors came into Brooklyn playing some of their worst basketball, losing 8 of their last 10, and without their top scorer DeMar DeRozan. Tack on the fact that Kyle Lowry was playing with the flu and, well, maybe the Nets could pick up another win at home?
Or, not. It was, after all, Super Bowl Sunday, and there’s been nothing super about these Nets.
It was an early tip for this one, 12:00 PM, and it really showed in the first quarter, for both teams. Brooklyn shot just 36.4 percent from the floor and coughed up six turnovers, after one, while the Raptors shot a tad over 41 percent, carrying a 26-24 lead into the second quarter.
The Nets started the second quarter on an 8-0 run, thanks to Trevor Booker who scored five quick ones on a wide-open three, followed by a wide-open dunk after he picked off a Jared Sullinger pass. Booker, who once again came off the bench for the Nets, continues to provide a nice spark on the second unit. He scored 9 points in 10 minutes of action in the first half.
Outside of Booker, the Nets couldn’t get much going in the second quarter. Their offense remained stale and the turnovers began to pile up. Not to mention, Brook Lopez picked up his third foul midway through the quarter, forcing him to the bench and allowing for Jonas Valanciunas to take take off. The Raptors’ big scored 16 points in just 12 first half minutes.
The Nets, meanwhile, shot under 40 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 15 times in the first half.
Toronto led, at halftime, 55-43.
Things would get better, naturally, as this is the Nets and the third quarter is where they...always...seem...to...play...awful basketball.
And play awful basketball they did. It went from bad to worse to back to bad again, which, is progress. At one point they found themselves trailing by 17 points in the third, with a grand total 18 turnovers to just 12 assists, through, three. However, they fought back to find themselves trailing by 12 points which, again, is progress.
Still, this is the Nets basketball, these are the Nets, and closing out basketball games is not something they’ve become accustomed to this season.
Brooklyn had no rhythm whatsoever, and the turnovers continued to pile up.
Once again, the issue is that the Nets spend so much time playing from behind that when they fall into a rhythm in the fourth quarter, they’re having to play such perfect basketball.
Midway through the fourth the Nets pulled to within 7, 84-77, and were showing some life. The Raptors seemed to have been resigned to calling off the guard, with only one starter playing in a rotation against the Nets starters.
Timeout called, Nets trailed by 7 with the ball and 6-plus minutes to go. Here come the Nets? Well, here come the Raptors starters.
The Nets had nice back-to-back defensive sets, allowing them to pull to within 4 points. The Raptors, then, went back to their bread and butter — pick-n-rolls with Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas. It was almost too easy. And before you knew it, the Raptors were back up by 10 points with just over three minutes to go.
Again, to Nets mostly punted the first three quarters and then were tasked with playing the perfect fourth, which they didn’t do — nor couldn’t have done.
Too much Lowry, as the Nets lost their 9th straight, 103-95.
This was their 12th straight loss at home, two short of the franchise record set in 2009-10.
Kyle Lowry finished with 15 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, his first triple double of the season, while Valanciunas we for 22 points in 25 minutes.
Booker led the way for the Nets with 15 and 10, and Lopez finished with 20 points in a losing effort. Brooklyn turned the ball over 22 times. There it is.
Next up for the Nets, on the road Tuesday night against the Hornets. Brooklyn will look to snap their 9-game losing streak.
For more on the Raptors, see: RaptorsHQ
- Box Score: Toronto Raptors 103, Brooklyn Nets 95 - NBA.com
- Powell rocks the rim (Video) - NBA.com
- Ross flies through the lane (Video) - NBA.com
- Booker two-handed hammer (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez three (Video) - NBA.com
- Nogueira alley-oop slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Ross transition slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Hamilton dunk (Video) - NBA.com
- Carroll protects the rim (Video) - NBA.com
- Foye with the rejection (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez and-one jam (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets prepare for Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on loss to Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- Lowry's triple-double leads Raptors past Nets, 103-95 - Brian Mahoney - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Hamilton singer flubs Canadian anthem before Raptors-Nets - AP
- If Nets are going to kick the ball around, they have no chance - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Raptors star offers lessons as ‘Hamilton’ actress botches ‘O Canada’ - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ Caris LeVert sits vs. Toronto Raptors with sore knee - Mark Herrmann - Newsday
- Nets drop ninth straight, falling to depleted Raptors - Mark Herrmann - Newsday
- Careless Nets get eaten alive by the carnivorous Raptors (Game Grades) - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- Gallery: Nets vs. Raptors - Nathaniel S. Butler - Brooklyn Nets
- Lowry triple-double sparks Raptors past Nets - Doug Smith - Toronto Star