BROOKLYN, N.Y. — They fight, but mostly it ends in heartbreak.
Monday may have been the worst nightmare of them all. Again, it came down to the last play.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who is becoming a legitimate star to all but the refs, took the ball hard to the hole in overtime down one.
He had scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, but couldn’t get the final shot to go. It was a new career-high for Dinwiddie, unfortunately it ended in disappointing fashion.
He looked into the camera and said “See, this is what I’m talking about,” referring to Brooklyn’s two-point heartbreaking loss against Boston on Saturday.
“Q’s gotta do better holding on to the ball even though he got his wrist hit. I have to better on dunking (on Serge) Ibaka even though I got my wrist hit, said Dinwiddie after the game.
He has a strong case.
Once again, the Nets found themselves in a close one down the stretch against one of the best teams in the East. Despite trailing by 12 in the first half, the Nets battled back and cut this thing down to one by half.
Then, the Raptors found their groove again and went on a 7-0 run, bringing them up by 11. Another game of catch up late.
The Nets answered strong and hit six 3-pointers in the fourth and tied this thing at 107 apiece following a gritty bucket from Allen Crabbe.
Unfortunately, Crabbe was down in pain holding his knee. He walked off on his own power, but he was in noticeable pain. Fortunately, he returned in overtime.
Dinwiddie hit three 3-pointers and scored 21 points in the second half, including three clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Tied at 107 apiece, DeRozan missed a contested fadeaway and this one headed to OT.
DeRozan was 1-of-5 in overtime before nailing a tough and-one to put Toronto up by one.
It was then that Dinwiddie took the ball hard to the hole on the following possession, but missed on a physical play all around as time expired.
And so, the Nets have. become the first team since the 2012-13 Spurs to play five straight games decided by three or fewer points.
The Nets shot 39 percent on the night – 12-of-33 from 3-point after hitting only four in the first half. Allen Crabbe hit 4-of-6 and scored 20 on the night. Jarrett Allen finished with 14 points, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 14 points.
DeRozan was lethal all night. He finished with 35 points on 14-of-30 shooting. Kyle Lowry finished with 18 points and 11 assists but was carried off the floor in overtime after a hard fall. He underwent an X-ray while his teammates won it
The Raptors shot 43 percent on the night and turned it over 15 times.
Meanwhile, as one player returned to the court, another key player was sidelined after Brooklyn’s loss to Boston.
Caris LeVert missed the last two games due to a groin injury and struggled with an 2-of-13 night. DeMarre Carroll, however, is “day-to-day” with a knee sprain.
The Nets are now 15-25 – 10 games below .500 and trail by six games out of the eighth seed in the East. They’ve shown that they can play with the best of them, but they’ve also shown that they struggle to finish out games.
“I think the statement is very self-explanatory, “Dinwiddie said. “People are going to be looking for a sound bite after what I said last game. Hey look man, ya’ll saw the game but at this point I was respectful in my response to what happened.
“I mean all these plays we have to be better as a unit because obviously that’s what it takes to win this game. We just have to be better. I have to do better at keeping my balance whether it be at Indiana or be this game here on the final play. I can’t lose my balance and fall down and throw the shot over the backboard. So I’m gonna get in the weight room and I’m (going to) be better.”
IT HURTS, Y’ALL
Spencer Dinwiddie went into detail about how much these losses really do impact the team.
“It’s going to take a lot of maturity because the hardest part about this is that we have so many guys that are on the brink of being in the NBA or getting another contract, and these close losses when they stack up – two, three, four, five in a row – they change the tenure of the season because it completely shifts the narrative of how Nets basketball is played. If these close losses turn into wins, we’re close to .500 ball.
“We’re looking at the playoffs. There’s a different morale, different vibe. Instead of always coming in here feeling a certain way about whatever happened on the court. It’s hard because everybody in here is trying to put food on the table for their families and provide. A couple wins here and there really affect the tenure of a season for a young ball club that’s fighting. So, I’d say these close losses in a row that really hurt… they really hurt.”
For a different perspective, head on over to RaptorsHQ
Next up: the Pistons on Wednesday night.
- Game Report: Toronto Raptors 114, Brooklyn Nets 113 (OT) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Toronto Raptors 114, Brooklyn Nets 113 (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Spencer Dinwiddie’s 31 points vs. the Raptors (Video) - NBA.com
- Dinwiddie from downtown (Video) - NBA.com
- Dinwiddie with the big finish (Video) - NBA.com
- Dinwiddie delivers (Video) - NBA.com
- Crabbe gets the roll (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post Game Plus: TOR@BKN (Video) - Chris Shearn & Mike Fratello - YES Network
- Atkinson on defensive effort (Video) - YES Network
- Dinwiddie on staying hungry (Video) - YES Network
- LeVert on battling back (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson shares injury updates on Russell, LeVert (Video) - YES Network
- DeRozan helps Raptors beat Nets in OT after Lowry hurt - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Nets’ latest loss is exactly what Spencer Dinwiddie was talking about - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets somehow avoid disaster in latest series of injuries - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets fight to finish, but fall to Raptors in overtime - Greg Logan - Newsday
- D’Angelo Russell works out with Long Island Nets in first practice since surgery - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets pour hearts out in overtime loss to Raptors (Game Grades) - Elizabeth Swinton - The Brooklyn Game
- TORONTO RAPTORS 114-113 BROOKLYN NETS: THREE TAKEAWAYS - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets
- SPENCER DINWIDDIE AND THE BROOKLYN NETS GO DOWN TO THE WIRE AGAIN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Raptors beat Nets, but Lowry hurt in OT - Mike Ganter - Toronto Sun
- Raptors’ Kyle Lowry knows his time is coming, if he can stay healthy - Dave Feschuk - Toronto Star