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Nets continue Barclays Center homestand vs. Raptors

Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

One _____ away. The Brooklyn Nets played the Boston Celtics tough on Saturday night, but couldn’t get over the hump late and lost by two points. Losses like that drive you crazy.

The opponent tonight will be the Toronto Raptors. They’ve had another quality season and will likely wind up as a top three seed once again when the playoffs begin in April. They’ve been off the past few days after they extended their winning streak to four by beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. It would be reasonable to think they might be looking ahead. They’ve got big games at home this week against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

DeMarre Carroll had to be helped off the floor after Saturday’s game. He’s out. Expect more news on that before the game. Caris Levert missed his second straight game Saturday and he’s listed as probable. Isaiah Whitehead remains on assignment in Long Island, Milton Doyle in Brooklyn.

Nothing here for Toronto.

The game

Toronto won the first game in December.

Quietly, DeMar DeRozan is putting together an MVP quality season. He’s at career highs in field goal and three point percentages while he’s managed to seamlessly transition into the Raptors’ new offensive style. Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris will get the majority of reps against DeRozan. Having Levert back would help, but if he's not available, Crabbe will have to step up. He's been OK all things considered, but the Nets would like for him to do more.

Jahlil Okafor looked pretty good on Saturday. In 13 minutes off the bench, the big man scored 13 points on 5-of-12 from the field. More importantly, he gave the Nets an interior scoring option when their perimeter shots weren’t falling. He and Jarrett Allen will match up against Jonas Valanciunas. JV has been most effective close to the rim thanks to his ability to grab offensive rebounds, but he can step out and knock down 16 foot jumpers.

Player to watch: Kyle Lowry

As he approaches his 32nd birthday, Lowry is starting to slow down some. He’s playing his fewest minutes per game since the 2012-2013 season and his field goal percentage is at his lowest in the past couple of years. That said, he is shooting 38.9 percent from deep and is still contributing in a variety of ways.

After the game on Saturday, Spencer Dinwiddie spoke about the referees and said something incredibly interesting:

The refs have taken their fair share of lumps this year, but they're not helping themselves if they react with disrespect when players have legitimate questions for them.

As for Dinwiddie's game tonight, hopefully he continues to drive to the rim if the game is close late. He shouldn't let the refs discourage him from seeking contact.

From the Vault

DeRozan recently set the franchise record for points scored in a single game with 52. Let’s take it back to when an old friend of ours set the original record

More reading: Raptors HQ