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The Nets lost a close battle in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs, dropping a 100-95 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Toronto and tying the series at one game apiece.
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DeMar DeRozan; Andray Blatche

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors to a Game 2 win. (AP)

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Here's a brief recap of Tuesday night's festivities.
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The Brooklyn Nets CENTER

Until the last few minutes, the Nets maximized their best asset -- forcing turnovers -- and were dominated by their biggest weakness -- rebounding. They may have set a record for most shots rimmed out in a game, which will happen sometimes. Credit to DeMar DeRozan for showing up big after a rough Game 1. Now it's time to go back to Brooklyn.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Came out as aggressive as he did Saturday afternoon, but his shots didn't fall in the first half. One notable layup twirling around Jonas Valanciunas to put in a scoop, but a quiet night otherwise on a bigger stage, including a rough turnover in crunch time.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Didn't show any fear attacking the paint in his first playoff series since 2006 and his first as a starter, and unlike the rest of the team didn't have any issues hitting free throws.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

The Raptors still don't have an answer for him on the wing -- it's either make or miss once he gets into the paint. Johnson carried the Nets through the third quarter with 12 big points in a variety of ways, but airballed a 3 in the fourth quarter and the Nets didn't go to him otherwise.

Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

2 quick fouls in the first quarter kept him glued to the bench, but played disruptive defense throughout. Didn't hit any shots until crunch time: a step-back and-one jumper that tied the game at 83, and then an and-one layup to cut a 92-87 lead to 92-90 with under a minute left. Pierce had one more chance to give the Nets the lead, but rimmed out two wide-open three-point attempts down the stretch.

Kevin Garnett CENTER

Strong start to this one on both ends, neutralizing Raptors pick-and-rolls with Valanciunas and hitting two nice mid-range jumpers in his first four-minute stint. Rolled well to the rim to get some easy buckets and played solid defense in his limited time. Not an accident that he had the team's best plus-minus.

Andrei Kirilenko SMALL FORWARD

After sitting out the entirety of Game 1, drawing the ire of his wife, Kirilenko got some early playing time in Game 2 and earned his keep with his usual, sneaky style of play. Played some crunch time minutes in lieu of Shain Livingston, hitting the deck on one play to save a defensive rebound. If not that, this is his play of the night: stealing an offensive rebound right out of Terrence Ross's hands and grabbing another offensive rebound on the very next shot.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Rough Game 1 didn't translate over: Teletovic missed his first three shots but then buried his next four, including three three-pointers, briefly leading the Nets in scoring to close the first half. Still can't defend.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Doesn't look fazed by playoff minutes but Brooklyn's defense fell off a cliff with him in the game.


 

final stats 4Final stats from YES
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finalstats3

More stats, including the box score, on NetsOnYES

 

Up here, Kevin Garnett's called for his second technical of the first-round series against the Toronto Raptors, after an equally questionable one in Game 1.

I'm not one to blame referees for too many mistakes -- it's a quick sport with snap decisions made by imperfect that are scrutinized on slow-motion replay. But that's not at play here: this is a decision made after a play, with Garnett casually walking down court. He doesn't do anything drastic. It doesn't appear that he said enough bad words to warrant a technical (though with Garnett, that's always possible). But Garnett's still slapped with one.

I guess you could argue that he pawed down at Vasquez on the floor, but that's silly to call a technical on. Maybe it was just preventative on the official's part. Your thoughts?

 

Raptors in red, Nets in gray
YES half time stat

YES half time stats percentages

yes stats strip

 

YES Network color commentators Donny Marshall & Jim Spanarkel answer three questions on tonight's game against the Toronto Raptors. Spanarkel is on the call with Ian Eagle for Games 2 and 3, while Marshall will be in the studio.

Spanarkel's Take On...... MORE →

 

Paul Pierce; Patrick Paterson

Paul Pierce (AP)

A Hall of Fame performance is rarely the act of an individual.

Paul Pierce’s fourth quarter takeover in Game 1, combined with his declaration of “That’s Why I’m Here!” while running back to the huddle was, though wildly entertaining, no exception.

It wasn’t only Pierce’s veteran guile or his lifetime of difficult shot-making experience at work, but carefully executed Nets offense that cleverly put Pierce into creases in the Raptors defense, freeing him for his 4th quarter burst.
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Rajon Rondo, Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche's struggles nearly lost Game 1. (AP)

The Nets' bench was less than stellar Saturday afternoon, outscored 29-16 by Toronto's second unit and allowed the Raptors to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter. They shot just 8-23, 0-12 from three-point range, and outside of rookie Mason Plumlee (+13), they had a combined plus-minus of -47. At the center of those issues: struggling center Andray Blatche.
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Adam Silver (left) threw the $25,000 hammer down on Masai Ujiri (right). (AP)

Adam Silver (left) threw the $25,000 hammer down on Masai Ujiri (right). (AP)

The NBA has fined Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri $25,000 for obscene language directed towards the Nets in a public setting before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced today.

Ujiri said "F--- Brooklyn!" to a crowd of Toronto Raptors fans at a pre-game rally, which was recorded by a fan on Instagram. Ujiri apologized for the remark at halftime, but added "I don't like them" in reference to the Nets.

Given the recent fines for language, Ujiri may have gotten off easy. On June 26th, 2012, Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the league for using a homosexual slur in a private Twitter message towards a fan. And on January 18th, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $100,000 by the league for confronting referees with inappropriate language. (Though to be fair, that was considered a ceremonial gesture by former NBA commissioner David Stern, who fined Cuban at his request one last time before Stern's retirement.)

For context, Jason Kidd was fined $50,000 by the league on November 28th for intentionally spilling a drink on the court when he was out of time-outs in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. But that was when the league commissioner was David Stern, not Silver.

 

AP

AP

If you're in the New York area, don't expect to watch Game 2 of Nets-Raptors on NBA TV tomorrow. The YES Network will air the game exclusively in the New York area, meaning that the NBA TV feed will be blacked out in the area.

Game 3 is still on My9 and Game 4 will be on YES. Neither game is exclusive in the New York area.