The Brooklyn Nets entered this matchup on a 10-game losing skid, while Toronto was coming off a victory against the Knicks to bring their winning streak to three games. The Nets and Raptors had previously met twice this season, with Toronto taking both games in a dominating fashion.
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The Raptors picked up where they left off in their last matchup with the Nets, as they were quick to take an 11-0 lead. However, after a few quick buckets from Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn found themselves back in the mix. They clawed their way out of the hole they had initially dug for themselves after some crafty interior play offensively.
An exchange of threes sent the game into a tailspin. The Nets took their first lead of the night off of a Justin Hamilton put-back with two minutes left in the first quarter. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, (“The Hyphen,” as he was touted by Ian Eagle) capped off the quarter with an impressive steal and emphatic throw-down. Despite early game mishaps, the Nets led 29-26 after the first twelve minutes of play.
RHJ’s high-energy style of play showed early in the second, as he notched his tenth point of the night in only five minutes of play. Immediately after this hot streak, he curiously asked to be taken out of the game.
Terrence Ross began to take over offensively midway through the second quarter. He was able to keep the game close as the lead changed hands several times before halftime. A flurry of buckets from Cory Joseph, Lowry’s replacement, gave the Raptors a slight lead as the half winded down.
The Nets put on a dunking showcase in the first two periods. RHJ, Lopez, and Isaiah Whitehead all had highlight reel dunks before halftime. Lopez capped off the half with a crafty up-and-under fake to secure his team the lead going into the locker room.
Defense was not a priority in the first half, as both teams shot over 45 percent from the field during that time span. Toronto also shot an astounding 60 percent from behind the arc in the early going. The Nets had a 61-58 lead going into the second half.
DeMar DeRozan came out of the locker room determined to repeat his 19-point third quarter performance from Friday. A quick six points from the USC product, among other buckets, cut the Nets’ led to 1. Toronto then regained the lead off porous defense from the Nets’ backcourt duo of Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie. The Raptors’ three-point shooting stayed around 55 percent on the night, which contributed to a mounting deficit for Brooklyn in the middle of the third quarter.
Brooklyn found themselves over the foul limit halfway through the quarter, only adding to their already impressive free throw total. The Nets’ woes continued as several careless turnovers gave Toronto a ten-point lead late in the third.
Despite an offensive outpouring from a lone bright spot on the roster, Caris LeVert, the Nets trailed 92-85 heading into the final quarter.
The Raptors maintained a double-digit lead with time running out for a Nets comeback. A couple of bad decisions offensively combined with DeRozan continuing his reign of terror on Eastern Conference defenses gave Toronto a 13-point lead with time running low. Brooklyn increased their second half turnover total to 10, leading to Toronto taking one of their largest leads of the night.
Joseph had a career night at Barclays on Tuesday, notching over 30 points. Despite not having their leading man, the Raptors’ backcourt still dominated, putting up 69 points combined.
Brooklyn was never able to make a strong comeback in the fourth, as they lost, 119-109. This is the Nets’ eleventh straight loss and longest losing streak since the infamous 12-70, Devin Harris-led New Jersey Nets squad in 2009-10.