It’s funny: when the Nets started this stretch of games, I figured it could potentially end their season. But they’ve now won back-to-back games against two teams heavily favored to take them down, the second on the road.
The team’s effort in the past few weeks has been a complete code switch from their back-to-back 39- and 35-point losses two weekends ago: even before Deron Williams returned, the Nets blended a nice combo of transition scoring, ball movement, and reliance on their big scorers to make plays to stay competitive throughout.
Most of the attention will focus on the Nets offense, which was among their best performances of the season. But their defense made multiple stops down the stretch, even if you factor in the Raptors rimming out enough shots to call into question what Toronto did to upset the basketball Gods. The Nets have routinely had difficulty getting stops to close out games this season. That wasn’t an issue tonight.
One fun fact: that was the Raptors’ first loss in the Atlantic Division this season.
The stats: 8 PTS, 4-14 FG, 4 REB, 2 AST
Difficult night for Lopez to get anything going offensively. It seemed like he was forcing much of his offense, on a night when the perimeter players had their shots clicking.
Did have one nice swat on a Kyle Lowry layup in the fourth quarter, but quiet otherwise in a solid team victory.