June 01, 2020

Brooklyn Nets Squander Lead and Loses to Toronto Raptors 121-102 | 411SportsTV NEWS

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie trying to stay ahead of Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie trying to stay ahead of Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet Photo credit unknown

Spencer Dinwiddie leads all Nets players with 23 points in the loss; Caris LeVert returns to action for the first time since November 10 thumb injury

Squander is the word.

Squander is what the Brooklyn Nets did last night against the Toronto Raptors. Up by 16 points (52-36) at 3:38 in the second quarter, the Nets quickly allowed that cushion to disappear ending the second quarter up by four, 52-48. Brooklyn ended the third stanza underwater by three, 83-80, still within an opportunity to regain its footing to win, but the Nets had no answer for the Raptors’ sudden surge and never came above water ending the game down by 19 points, 121-102. With the loss, the Nets are now below .500 with a win-loss record of 16-18, meanwhile, the Raptors improved to 24-12.

The lone seemingly bright spot for the Brooklyn Nets was that the team blocked a season-high 11 shots and edged the Raptors 11-4 in blocks. It would have been a more meaningful metric if those blocks could have converted into points. The Nets’ .478 field goal percentage (32-of-67 FG) was higher than the Raptors’ .454 (44 of 97), but the Raptors shot more and completed more.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on if he notices a reoccurring theme in the second half of the last few games

“Fourth quarter, last four out of five games, we were right there, or led, or (were) close,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson responded. “That’s a theme. That’s a big theme right now. We have to figure out why. Fourth quarters have really been a thorn in our sides. It was again tonight. We competed for three-quarters of the game, a little bit more than three quarters. I think when we subbed the starters back in the game, it was a six- or seven-point game and then they kind of went on a run and I’ve kind of seen that film before recently, so we have to figure it out. We have to figure out why we’re running out of gas. Is it physical? Is it execution? It’s probably a combination of all of those things.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris agrees.

“I think just looking at it, defensively, we’ve given up a lot of points in these fourth-quarter stretches – where it may be a lack of execution on one end or the other,” stated Joe Harris. “Tonight, was sort of cumulative; it kind of built up there in the third, where we gave up 35 points. In the fourth, we gave up 38, which is way too many. You’re not going to win a lot of games, especially finishing out games like that.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points (6-of-12 FG, 9-of-12 FT), seven assists, three rebounds, and a block in 31 minutes. And, in case you haven’t been following Dinwiddie this season, his performance last night was not an anomaly. Dinwiddie has shown demonstrable improvement since last season. Dinwiddie has scored 20+ points in 19 of his last 23 games and has scored 20+ points a single-season career-high 23 times (in 34 games). He scored 20+ points 18 times all last season (68 games). Joe Harris scored 18 points with three rebounds, and five assists in 31 minutes, Harris has now scored in double figures 27 times this season; Caris LeVert returned to action from a thumb injury last night and recorded 13 points (5-of-7 FG, 2-of-2 3FG) in 16 minutes off the bench; Garrett Temple totaled 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 30 minutes, and; Taurean Prince chipped in 10 points and six boards in 28 minutes.

LeVert, who is on a minutes restriction, is clearly someone Nets’ fans can’t wait to see get more playing time, but patience is necessary, as even LeVert doesn’t know when his minutes' restriction will end.

“I’m not sure – I’m just out here to play – that’s for coach and the performance staff,” LeVert said in response to a question regarding the next step in overcoming his minute restrictions. “Whatever minutes I’m given, I’m just going to try to go out there and do what I can.”

Toronto Raptors Scoring Leaders

For Toronto, Fred VanVleet, who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and was later signed by Toronto, led all scorers with 29 points, 11 assists, and four rebounds. Kyle Lowry, the oldest player on the floor and 13 years full years in the NBA, scored 26 points, five assists, and four rebounds; Serge Ibaka recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds, and; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a former member of the Brooklyn Nets, chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, and four steals.

Coach Speak: Nick Nurse on Toronto Raptors’ defense after the first quarter

“I think from the four-minute mark of the second quarter onward we really got down to a plan,” said Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “We were into the ball. We were making catches tough. Everything was pretty tough. When Brooklyn did take it to the rim, which they can do very well, we were better. We were better protecting. We were better cracking in on the “bigs” so there wasn’t that little dump off there as much. Just much more energy and toughness.”

What’s Next for the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Toronto Raptors will return home to Toronto to host the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 7 p.m. ET.

The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Orlando to play the Orlando Magic on Monday, January 6, 2020, at 7 p.m. ET, and then will hurry home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

 
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