The Raps suffered another close loss last night, falling by 7 to the other Gotham-ites. The Raps played brilliantly in Q1, then collapsed in Q2, giving away the lead & never regaining it. While the Raps “won” the second half by a point, the second quarter meltdown, replete with turnovers & defensive lapses leading to losing the Q by 16, doomed the Toronto squad.
This game was more than the Nets home opener; it was the inaugural match at Brooklyn’s poppin’ fresh Barclays Center, which created hoopla & a delayed tipoff. The new Nets mascot, The Brooklyn Knight, descended from the ceiling amid darkness, shooting sparks from his boots. David Stern addressed the crowd; Beyonce & Jay-Z (who designed the Nets colour scheme & logo) were courtside. Much air-kissing, bling & backslapping all around.
Back to the game: Q1
10:02 – Robin Lopez completes the And1. [Lopez is a load. He stays cool under pressure, & takes the split-second he needs to get set & see the hoop before he releases - leads all Nets with 27.]
9:26 – Landry Fields misses another shot. [If this guy is an NBA starter, I'm Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile.]
9:10 – Bargnani with sweet touch pass to Jonas V for flush. [Can these two create some big-man chemistry?]
8:14 – JV gets second foul; Amir Johnson subs.
7:18 – Kyle Lowry tries deep 3 – nothing but net. Two more follow.
1:59 – AB hits short jumper. Raps up 27-23
:45 – Amir Johnson hits Raps end Q up 35-27
8:26 – lead down to 1
5:17 – Ed Davis shows off improved jumper for 2.
3:29 – JV jumper isn’t close
2:01 – Fields makes sloppy turnover, then fouls Lopez other way for And1
:01 – C.J. Watson 3 at buzzer
Raps lose Q by 16, go into locker room down 60-52
8:37 – Raps losing battle of boards [Reggie Evans had 13 rebounds - why did we let this guy go?]
6:13 – Cheap foul called while Joe Johnson in act of shooting leads to Raps bench tech – Dwane Casey had enough of one-sided whistles? Refs are having bad night, or maybe it’s Guaranteed Win Game, like in baseball, to send hurricane-weary fans home happy. [Raps outfoul Nets 31-19]
6:00 – AB hits 3
3:45 – AB collects O-board & hits short j; nice play Nets 79-70
1:18 – Lowry collects 4th foul; Jose Calderon in
Raps down 6
9:35 – Andray Blatche steamrolls Kyle Lowry
8:46 – Lowry to Ed Davis for layup [Davis had 11 points in 13+ minutes - we'll take it]
2:22 – Andrea misses open 18-footer to tie Nets 94-92
1:17 – Lowry drains another 3 Nets 97-95
:20 – A. Anderson’s only bucket is 3ball; assist AB Nets 103-100
Many foul shots ensue; game limps to conclusion.
Despite the loss, there was much to like for the Raps. Kyle Lowry once again was brilliant, with 28 points, 8 assists, 8 boards, & 3 steals. We could have done without the 5 turnovers, but the guy is a warrior. He pays a high price for his fearlessness, as he’s constantly pounded to the floor on his drives. DeMar DeRozan was more than solid, with 25 points on 8/13 shooting. I’m impressed with his shot selection; he knows when to drive, & when to accept the jumper.
On the flip side: Bargnani’s 13 won’t do. Landry Fields now has a grand total of 2 points in 2 games. Jonas had a rough outing, with 1 bucket in limited minutes, but he had 2 blocks. He’s going to get schooled a lot this season. Lopez’s bulk was too much for our guy. Jose had 1 bucket & 3 helpers in 21 minutes.
The Nets are very solid, as expected. Even though their backcourt didn’t dominate, their frontcourt was up to the task of handling the Raptors’ big men.
We’re back to the friendly confines of the ACC, for a date with Minnesota.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.