Saturday, January 11, 2014

Nets' streak ends at five; blown out by Raptors 96-80

It's the second night of a back-to-back, and the Nets were coming off an impressive double-overtime win over the Miami Heat. The team traveled to Toronto to try and extend their winning streak to six, but they fell short as the Raptors took over in the fourth quarter to win 96-80. The Nets don't play again until Thursday, when they take on the Atlanta Hawks in London.

It was a slow start for both teams in the first quarter. Neither team shot the ball well whatsoever, but each team was playing solid defense. The Nets shot just 40% in the quarter while Toronto shot 38.1%. The Raptors out-scored Brooklyn 24-18 in the quarter thanks to a late 11-3 run. Simply put, it was a sloppy first quarter as both teams combined for six turnovers.

The sloppiness didn't just disappear in the second quarter. In fact, things started getting even sloppier. The six combined first quarter turnovers turned into 14 combined turnovers at halftime, and it looked like the teams were trying to see who could throw the most arrant passes. The Nets would fall behind by 13 during the second quarter, but a late 19-10 run allowed them to cut the Toronto lead down to five at halftime, as the Raptors led 47-42. It was a good defensive half for both teams, but they both needed to find their way on offense in the second half.

When the third quarter rolls along, it is almost expected that the Nets will choke. It didn't start that way tonight, as the Nets started the quarter on an 18-3 run, giving them a 10 point lead. It was eight minutes of grueling defense by the Nets, and the offense was firing on all cylinders. That was until the final four minutes of the quarter. Things clicked for the Raptors, as they went on a 16-2 run to regain the lead. They took the Nets into the fourth quarter leading 68-64.

That Toronto run continued in the fourth quarter, being extended to 24-4. It was all Toronto in the fourth, as the Nets couldn't slow down their momentum. The game was over as soon as the quarter started, and the Nets did nothing to help themselves. Poor rotations led to a lack of scoring, and the Nets couldn't handle the scorching Raptors offense.

 The Nets held Toronto to just 40.5% shooting from the field, but they shot just 40% themselves. The defense wasn't necessarily an issue tonight. The tired legs of the Nets just couldn't keep up with the fast-paced Raptors.

Paul Pierce led the Nets with 15 points and grabbed four rebounds. Mason Plumlee added six points, five rebounds, and four blocked shots. Joe Johnson put up just 11 points, but grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists.

Final Score: 96-80 Raptors
Most Disappointing Stat of the Game: Nets 8/25 from three.
Promising Stat of the Game: None...
Scariest Moment of the Game: Toronto going on an extended 24-4 run.
Best Moment of the Game: Mason Plumlee gets up for the alley-oop
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