Nets endure robust loss to rival Raptors

Nets endure robust loss to rival Raptors

After dropping a blowout in Brooklyn on Monday, the Nets suffered a heartbreaker in Tuesday’s return leg in Toronto.

The Nets blew a late lead in falling 109-108 to the Raptors earlier than a crowd of 18,903 at Scotiabank Arena.

Brooklyn — which had misplaced by 36 at Barclays Center an evening earlier — led late however bought outscored 28-19 within the fourth quarter. The eighth-place Nets fell even additional into the Eastern Conference play-in morass.

They path seventh-place Toronto (34-27) by three full video games with simply 19 to play. They have been 4 behind sixth-place Boston 36-27 pending the end result of the Celtics recreation.

“I think overall philosophically if we can meet their physicality challenge [we can win],” mentioned Jacque Vaughn, who was teaching for Steve Nash, who’s in well being and security protocols. “A big team, aggressive, they showed that rebounding the basketball and so can we match their physicality is the No. 1 priority for [this game].”

Toronto was with out OG Anunoby (fractured ring finger) and Fred VanVleet. But the Nets have been basically bereft of a complete championship-level beginning 5 in Kevin Durant (left MCL sprain), Kyrie Irving (ineligible), Ben Simmons (again, conditioning), Andre Drummond (knee) and Joe Harris (left ankle surgical procedure).

Pascal Siakam, who scored 18 points, drives past Bruce Brown during the Nets' 109-108 loss to the Raptors.
Pascal Siakam, who scored 18 factors, drives previous Bruce Brown in the course of the Nets’ 109-108 loss to the Raptors.

But what the Nets put out on the court docket was sufficient. Just barely.

Brooklyn trailed by double figures at 32-21 after a Scottie Barnes free throw with 1:36 left within the first quarter. But Vaughn responded with a zone protection that threw the Raptors off, and his Nets responded with eight unanswered factors to span the durations. The Nets pulled inside three after Seth Curry (18 factors, six assists) hit Nic Claxton for a dunk.

Still down 37-31, the Nets put collectively a 9-2 run capped by a dunk by James Johnson (team-high 19 factors) to place Brooklyn forward, and Curry’s 3-pointer made it 43-41 simply over the halfway level of the second quarter.

Toronto went again up 53-51 on a 3 by Gary Trent Jr. (game-high 24 factors) with 1:44 remaining within the half. But Brooklyn closed out on an 8-2 run, and Goran Dragic — who began the season in Toronto, and bought booed with each contact — had a hand in each level.

Raptors forward Scottie Barnes slams one home during the Nets' 109-108 loss.
Raptors ahead Scottie Barnes slams one house in the course of the Nets’ 109-108 loss.
Nathan Denette

First Dragic discovered Johnson for a 3-pointer. Then he adopted with a finger roll, a step-back jumper — placing his finger to his mouth to shush the booing crowd — and at last a free throw for a 59-55 edge going into the break.

Trailing by a degree, the Nets ripped off 11 unanswered factors. A Blake Griffin spin transfer put them forward 86-77, and so they led by eight after three quarters.

They couldn’t maintain it. They bought out outscored 9-2 to open the fourth, a Malachi Flynn floater pulling Toronto inside 91-90.

LaMarcus Aldridge — beginning rather than Drummond — hit a turnaround three-point play on the baseline to salvage a frenetic possession, and adopted with one other contested midrange fade to pad the lead again to 96-90. But the Raptors saved coming.

The Nets allowed a 10-0 Toronto run, began by a Flynn 3-pointer late within the shot clock and capped by a Trent floater 100-96 with 2:56 to play.

Curry made a robust drive to cease the bleeding, and his lengthy 3-pointer knotted it at 103-all with 50.8 seconds remaining. But Trent’s free throws 20 seconds later put Toronto again forward, and the Nets by no means recovered. Curry missed a pair of jumpers, and Trent’s foul pictures pushed it to 4, basically icing it with 18 seconds to play.

Johnson’s 3 on the buzzer was beauty.

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