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Crabbe makes history, DLo gets triple-double but Nets fall in Toronto

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Final: 116-112

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

As DeMarre Carroll typically says after a tough game: The beauty of the NBA is that you get to recover and make up for disappointment within days.

After blowing a 23-point lead against the Hornets on Wednesday, the Nets hoped to do the improbable against the East’s best in Toronto. They battled throughout and gave a concerted effort, but they struggled to finish the game and lost, 112-106, despite two landmarks.

On a positive note, D’Angelo Russell became the first Net since Terrence Williams (2010) to record a triple-double, finishing the night with 18 points, 11 rebounds (career-high), and 13 assists (career-high). Not only that. DLo recorded the first triple-double ever by a Brooklyn Net. Ironically enough, the triple-double came on Jason Kidd’s 45th birthday. Kidd, of course, recorded 61 triple-doubles as a New Jersey Net.

DLo’s triple-double wasn’t the only Nets milestone: Allen Crabbe tied, then broke the Nets single season mark for 3-pointers, erasing Deron Williams from the record book. For the night, Crabbe was 5-of-8 for the night, giving him 173 for the season. DWill set the mark at 168 in the 2012-13 season.

Unfortunately, Russell and Crabbe’s efforts weren’t quite enough to lift Brooklyn past the gritty Raptors.

The Nets led by 13 in the third, but Toronto put together an 18-4 run bridging from the third and early fourth behind DeMar DeRozan‘s lead. DeRozan entered the fourth with just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. Within the first five minutes of the fourth, he scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and finished the night with 21 points.

We’ve seen this script way too many times before. It’s the 12th time in a row that Toronto has defeated Brooklyn, 18th game in which the Nets have lost by six points or less. They’re 23-50 on the season.

The Nets had led 89-76 with 2:29 left in the third but with two minutes left in the fourth, the Raptors led 107-101 – making for a 31-12 extended run. They missed eight of nine shots in that span and Jonas Valanciunas put Toronto up six with 37 seconds left, seemingly the dagger.

The Nets still didn’t let up. DeMarre Carroll came down and knocked down a huge 3-pointer, and then Caris LeVert forced a turnover on the inbounds with 32 seconds left. There was a chance down three, but LeVert committed a 5-second violation and the rest was just a painful extension.

Young teams make mental errors. We saw another case of that on Friday.

The Nets shot close to 41 percent from 3-point and committed just nine turnovers on the night, two by DLo. Free throw shooting (19-of-31) was the make-or-break issue for Brooklyn. They played a very good game against a very good team, but it came down to closing out the game… again.

Aside from Russell and Crabbe, five other Nets finished in double figures: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (18 points, seven rebounds), Carroll (14 points), Jarrett Allen (13 points), and Dante Cunningham (10 points, all in the first half).

The Raptors shot 48 percent from the field and 48 percent from three, led by Derozan, Kyle Lowry (25 points, 12 assists) and Valanciunas (23 points, eight rebounds).

OH YEAH, AND THERE WAS THIS...

Early in the third, Lowry complained to the refs that the Raptors basket was unbalanced. Out came the tech, out came the ladder, out came the level. It turned out that there was just a bit of unbalance, which was corrected by a high-tech maneuver, Pascal Siakam hanging on the rim. Hey, whatever works.

CRABBE MAKES HISTORY

With his second made 3-pointer with 1:31 left in the second quarter, Crabbe set the single-season record for 3-pointers. Crabbe is averaging a career-high 12.7 points and has shot close to 37 percent from three this season, down from 44.4 percent last season.

SO THAT’S WHAT IT MEANT!

After Wednesday’s disappointing loss, Allen Crabbe tweeted — and then quickly deleted — something cryptic. Some —okay, make it many— believed it had some secret meaning behind it. You be the judge...

Nah, said Crabbe. Prior to Friday’s matchup against the Raptors, Crabbe cleared the air about the deleted tweet.

“If people knew basketball, they would understand why I was frustrated by the fact that we had a big lead and we lost it,” Crabbe said. “Man, losing is deflating, just to have a 23-point lead and we’re feeling like we’re about to get our third (straight) win and it slips away. That was the biggest frustration. But nothing with the team, nothing with the coach. It was just a win we should have had.”

DANCIN’ THROUGH THE HATERS?

DLo couldn’t get out the way of the Raptors dancers, so he made the most of it.

BROOKLYN’S FUN FACT OF THE DAY

Well, Net Income, a Brooklyn Dodger fan back in the day, knew it.

For a different perspective, head on over to Raptors HQ.