No one can accuse the Toronto Raptors of giving up.
Despite ceding a double-digit lead to the Brooklyn Nets with only about seven minutes remaining in the match, the Raps continued to fight, getting as close as five points with seconds remaining before finally coming up short. The Dinos lose their second-straight as a result, this one a 113 to 106 decision in Brooklyn.
Toronto started strong again, eventually leading by 10 points part-way through the second quarter, but the Nets reeled off a 24 to 10 run that gave them a four-point, half-time lead. This was a decent-enough cushion but considering Kyle Lowry was likely unable to play the rest of the game thanks to a first half ankle injury, and Alan Anderson lost a tooth, there was reason enough to think that the Nets were going to run away with it.
But lo and behold, Lowry came back!
And he put on a bit of a show, scoring 19 points in the game's final eight minutes, pulling Toronto back with him.
Again, it was simply not enough, but Lowry's performance will certainly be front and center amongst fans and media tomorrow. The Raps have been trying to get this version of Lowry back on the court, so the crucial issue going forward will be to determine how indeed to do this, especially if he continues to back up Jose Calderon.
Yes, Dwane Casey has his work cut out for him in that respect, and likely will want to work with his wings a fair amount too before the next match. DeMar DeRozan had 12 points but it took 15 shots to get those 12, and his compadres weren't any better. In fact the 2-3 spot for Toronto went 11 for 34 on the night and had it not been for some solid play from the likes of Ed Davis and Amir Johnson, this one likely would have been over much earlier.
And when I say, before the next match, I mean on the plane ride home.
Toronto turns around now, returns to the ACC, and faces a very tough Chicago Bulls club in less than 24 hours.
So much for practice time.