One night after a thrilling win over Miami, the Brooklyn Nets went north to Toronto and lost 96-80 to the Toronto Raptors. This result was to be expected after the Nets arrived in Toronto at 4 AM this morning. Paul Pierce led the Nets with 15 points. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 for the Raptors.
The Nets were sleepwalking through the first half, but were able to stay in the game thanks to a late second quarter run. In the third quarter, the Nets got off to a fantastic start, taking a 10-point lead with about 4 minutes remaining in the quarter. However, once Paul Pierce checked out of the game, Toronto went on an 18-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters and it was never very close after that.
With this loss, the Nets’ 5-game winning streak is snapped. Still, they showed a lot of resiliency getting back into this game after being down by over 10 points in the first half. I don’t consider this too much of a set-back and I think the Nets are still heading in the right direction.
Player grades and notes:
Mason Plumlee: C+
Plumlee got the first start of his career tonight with Garnett out and he didn’t play horribly. He had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks, but he also got his shot blocked by a lot of smaller players. He had one very nice steal and fast break lay-up in the fourth quarter to keep the Nets in the game, but that was his only offensive highlight. He also fouls too much, but that should be expected from a rookie.
Paul Pierce: B
Pierce was the Nets’ best offensive player tonight, scoring 15 points on 5-9 shooting. But the Nets needed even more from him in this game. After he went out of the game with a few minutes left in the third quarter, the Raptors went on an 18-0 run to take control of the game.
Shaun Livingston: C+
Unsurprisingly, a night after playing a career high in minutes, Livingston looked pretty tired tonight, shooting just 3-11. Still, the Nets needed him on the court rather than their backup point guards Jason Terry, Alan Anderson, and Tyshawn Taylor. The Nets still always look better with Livingston on the court.
Joe Johnson: C
With Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez out, the Nets needed much more from Joe Johnson tonight and didn’t get it. He missed a lot of open shots and couldn’t take control of the offense with Pierce out of the game.
Alan Anderson: C+
You can’t blame Anderson for his effort, but it just wasn’t enough in this game. He was a big part of the Nets’ comeback in the third quarter, but other than that he did very little.
On a night when the Nets needed their bench desperately on short rest, the bench did not show up tonight. Andray Blatche was constantly in foul trouble, Jason Terry brought little on offense and defense, and even Andrei Kirilenko looked pretty tired and wasn’t as active as usual. Mirza Teletovic hit a pair of 3′s, but was still just 3-10 from the field.
The Nets will have a couple of much-needed nights off and then travel to London for a game with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. FRWD will have full coverage of the London trip.