Raptors come out flat, get crushed by Nets 97-83

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto came out flat once again, losing to the Nets 97-83 to set up Game 7 on Sunday.

The Raptors opened tonight’s game with an overall lack of intensity coming from all the players except DeMar DeRozan. He might have been the only reason why the Raptors had points in the first quarter. Conversely, the Nets came out strong with lots of energy; they had 9 points accompanied with 9 rebounds in the first few minutes of play. Toronto not only couldn’t hit their shots, but they couldn't keep up with defensive rotations. Kyle Lowry was the only one who went to the line in the first quarter with a minute left. Brooklyn finished the first with 22 points in the paint comparing to the Dinos 4.

Brooklyn continued their hot stretch into the second. Not helping the matter, the Raptors found themselves dealing with foul trouble as Jonas Valanciunas was called for his third foul with nine minutes left in the second. At this time during the game, the Raptors had 14 fouls, double of what the Nets had, which was due, at least partially, to some questionable calls from the officials. Brooklyn constantly doubled DeRozan and pressured the rest of Toronto's guards, who struggled to deal with the added defensive intensity. Toronto allowed the Nets to shoot 59% from the field and only shot 36% themselves in the half.

The Raptors again could not match the intensity of the Nets from the beginning of the game and things didn't change to begin the second half. They finally went on small run with four minutes left in the third, and Valanciunas started to finish hard in the paint with crisp assists from Lowry. The drive and dish was definitely working well for Toronto. But, the run was short lived, and their comeback was slipping away with already seven turnovers in the quarter. The Nets went into the fourth with a lead of 20 points.

During the fourth, the Raptors seemed to regain their form with both Amir Johnson and DeRozan taking the ball to the basket. The Raptors closed the gap to within ten points with a 14-2 run. With two minutes left in the game, the Dinos couldn't find a solution to close the gap. The game finished with a final score of 97-83. All in all, Brooklyn outplayed Toronto in every facet of the game including crucial moments late in the fourth. Right from the get-go the Nets were not loosing this game.

Sidenotes:

The officiating was suspect once again.

Dwayne Casey could have chosen better player rotations.

Terrance Ross can’t seem to find any offensive rhythm whatsoever.

Andre Blatche was a surprise factor for the Nets.

The Raptors once again sturggled to move the ball and as such Valanciunas could have seen more touches.

Sarah’s Eye: Drake needs a friend on the sideline. It looks like he never talks to whoever is sitting there.

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