We’ve spoken about tests for the Nets this year. Saturday against the defending champs was only the start of their biggest test thus far — the first night of a back-to-back with a game against the tough Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow.
They failed Part 1, losing to the defending champion Raptors 110-102, Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena — their ninth straight loss in the building! They’re now 13-12 on the season and 9-5 since Kyrie has been out.
There was nine minutes left in the game when Spencer Dinwiddie checked back in. Dinwiddie was leading the depleted Nets yet again. Let me reiterate depleted because Kenny Atkinson unleashed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who has suited up in two games this year, and Rodions Kurucs, who hasn’t played since November 27th.
The bench was crucial. When Dinwiddie exited, David Nwaba stepped up with two transition buckets and a huge dunk past the flying arms of Pascal Siakam. He scored seven in the quarter and kept Brooklyn’s afloat, with Dinwiddie returning down seven.
Dinwiddie tried to help dig the Nets out of a hole yet again. But it didn’t happen.
Brooklyn relied heavily on its 3-point shooting, which failed them. They took 46 attempts and hit 12 of them. That’s 26 percent. Garrett Temple was at the forefront of that charge, missing on 12 of 14 shots.
Between that and 20 turnovers, the Nets dug themselves a hole too deep to crawl out of, not to mention against the 17-8 Raptors.
Kyle Lowry swiped the ball from Jarrett Allen and Norman Powell slammed home the dagger to capp off a 9-2 Toronto run, 15-point Nets deficit. As Richard Jefferson said on the YES telecast: “Time of kill: 9:49.”
Pack it up. Game tomorrow. Throw in the white towel.
Jarrett Allen was contained to just seven points, but he grabbed 10 rebounds to extend his streak of double digit rebounds to 10. Joe Harris hit just 1-of-6 from three, but the one 3-pointer put him into fifth all-time for most three-pointers in Nets history.
Dinwiddie did what he needed to do, scoring 24 points and dishing out eight assists with just one turnover. It was the 12th time in the last 14 games in which he’s dropped 20 or more points. Nwaba was aggressive on defense and a spark on offense with 10 off the bench.
Pascal Siakam tore through the Nets all throughout the first half. Assistant Jacque Vaughn came out to speak with Michael Grady at halftime and said the key was to throw different looks at him, which they did... and succeeded. He scored five points in the second half — with different looks including different matchups and a couple glances at a 2-3 zone.
The Nets have lost two straight and they have to travel back to Brooklyn from Toronto, Canada. It’s a 6:00 PM game, earlier than usual.
Let’s see how they come out against their rivals from last year.
With five players out —four injured and one suspended— Kenny Atkinson gave big minutes to two players who haven’t been near the rotation. Both Rodions Kurucs and two-way Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot both played 17 minutes Saturday night. Both did well considering their lack of minutes. Kurucs scored only one point (0-of-3) but secured seven boards, handed out three assists and blocked a shot. TLC had seven points on 3-of-6 shooting (1-of-3 from deep)
Dzanan Musa and the Nets other two-way, Henry Ellenson, played two minutes each.
END OF SUSPENSION
This will be the last game the Nets will be without Wilson Chandler. No word on the return of Nic Claxton (hamstring), Kyrie Irving (shoulder impingement) and Caris LeVert (thumb ligaments).
Brooklyn’s current starting 5 has started 13 straight, expecting 14 tonight.— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) December 14, 2019
The last time the Nets had the same starting five for more than 13 straight? In 2015-16: Donald Sloan, Wayne Ellington, Joe Johnson, Thad Young and Brook Lopez.
FROM THE VAULT
For a different perspective, head on over to RaptorsHQ, our sister site at SB Nation.
Next up: Philadelphia 76ers, tomorrow at 6 PM ET.
- Box Score: Toronto Raptors 110, Brooklyn Nets 102 - NBA.com
- Recap: Toronto Raptors 110, Brooklyn Nets 102 (Video) - NBA.com
- Jefferson, Ruocco on Nets’ loss (Video) - Richard Jefferson & Ryan Ruocco (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on Nets’ loss to Raptors (Video) - YES Network
- Prince on Nets transition defense (Video) - YES Network
- Allen on Nets’ defensive miscues (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Ruocco interviews Spencer Miller (Video) - YES Network
- Nets face familiar face (Video) - YES Network
- Siakam scores 30 points, Raptors beat Nets to snap home skid - Ian Harrison - AP
- Siakam powers Raptors past Nets - Reuters
- Nets get reminder of how far they have to go in loss to Raptors - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie: Silencing doubters, Knicks war - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets fall to Raptors behind ice-cold shooting - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets battle, but late run by Raptors the difference - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets’ Atkinson glad Hollis-Jefferson found a home with Raptors - Greg Logan - Newsday
- RAPTORS 110, NETS 102: BROOKLYN FALLS ON THE ROAD IN TORONTO - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Raptors go on the offensive against the Nets, hit nine threes in the first quarter alone - Doug Smith - Toronto Star