Nets Lack Endurance as Raptors Take Over for Victory


Final: 04/21/2021

L 103 114

If you like roller coasters, then Wednesday’s game was for you.

After the Nets built as large as a 13-point lead early on, they were out-scored by the Raptors 91-67 in the final three quarters in a 114-103 loss. The Raptors led by as many as 18 points as they broke the game open in the third quarter. 

The Nets made a push in the fourth quarter and came within five points of the Raptors in the closing minutes but could not close the gap. Toronto scored just 22 fourth-quarter points, but Brooklyn did not have the tools to make a run.

The Nets had difficulty containing the Raptors after holding them to just 23 first-quarter points. Though Toronto shot just 43.3% from the field, they made 18-of-47 three-pointers while the Nets could not force stops. 

Brooklyn had a great offensive start to the night as Joe Harris drained his first four three-pointers that quickly helped build a double-digit lead and a 36-point first quarter. That burst died off, though, as Landry Shamet and Jeff Green combined to shoot 3-of-19 from distance, and the team just 13-of-41 from deep on the evening.

The Nets shot just 39.6% from the field after shooting 55.1% against the Pelicans on Tuesday and had their seventh-lowest scoring output of the season with 103 points. Kyrie Irving and Bruce Brown each notched double-doubles as everyone else was largely contained or just came up flat.  

The Raptors did a good job of forcing the Nets to shoot on tired legs rather than get some better looks in the paint Brooklyn did out-score Toronto 42-36 in the paint and out-rebound them 62-52, but that was against the worst rebounding team in the NBA.

Toronto took care of the ball while pouring in the points in the second and third quarters. The Raptors turned the ball over just 10 times while they scored 11 points off Brooklyn’s 13 turnovers. 

Pascal Siakam led the way for Toronto with 27 points while OG Anunoby added 25 points. 

The Nets had an opportunity to move back into first in the East with the Sixers losing to the Suns, but ultimately fatigue set in as they continue to operate with a shorthanded lineup. Steve Nash said Kevin Durant could return as soon as Friday against the Celtics, and that would be welcomed news just in time for a difficult weekend slate.

Onto the next one.

Kyrie Irving


The stats: 28 PTS, 10-21 FG, 2-5 3PT, 6-6 FT, 11 REB, 8 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 37 MIN

Kyrie at times seemed like the only Net who could make — or create — a bucket.

Kyrie had a quick 10 points in the first quarter and dropped another 10 in the fourth, and was largely quiet in-between. He did do a good job of getting his teammates involved early and was active on the boards and defensively with three steals and a block.

The Raptors did a good job of keeping Kyrie out of the paint, which forced him to explore other offensive outlets. Kyrie nearly had a triple-double and did his best to will the Nets in the fourth quarter, but he just needed more help. 

Bruce Brown


The stats: 21 PTS, 8-14 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-4 FT, 14 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 30 MIN

The Nets were not successful as a whole, but Bruce Brown had a career night.

Bruce was relentless on the boards as he recorded the first 20/10 game of his career and second straight double-double. Bruce and DJ both came up big on the offensive glass as they pulled down four apiece.

Bruce has been Brooklyn’s defensive motor and got to work offensively against Toronto. He found success by applying interior pressure off the bench and following up shots while seeming to have the most energy on the court for the Nets. 

Joe Harris


The stats: 14 PTS, 5-10 FG, 4-5 3PT, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 TO, 34 MIN

At first glance, Joe’s stat line looks alright. But a deeper dive reveals he did most of that damage in a span of five minutes. 

Joe looked like he was going to drop another 20-point night after draining four early three-pointers, but that was the last of his shots from distance. Joe attempted just one three-pointer the rest of the night and scored just two points in the second half.

Whether Joe started feeling fatigued or the Raptors applied more pressure on him, it was an underwhelming night for Joey Buckets after his hot start. He remained active, but the Nets needed to get creative to keep him more involved — especially as the Raptors pulled away.

Landry Shamet


The stats: 10 PTS, 3-17 FG, 2-12 3PT, 2-2 FT, 1 REB, 4 AST, 1 TO, 36 MIN

It has been a while, but it was clearly not Landry Shamet’s night.

Shamet had many looks from distance early off great ball movement, but each one seemed to clank off the front of the rim. Those tired legs did not benefit Brooklyn as Shamet shot a torrid 17.6% from the field.

Shamet is allowed a bad game every now and then, so hopefully he got it out of his system. It was difficult for the Nets to form a comeback without Shamet’s hot hand being available to knock down a three — or any shot. 

Blake Griffin


The stats: 9 PTS, 3-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-5 FT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 19 MIN

Blake had some good moments in his limited minutes but had trouble getting stops defensively.

It was definitely not Blake Griffin’s best effort as a Net as he played his first back-to-back since arriving in Brooklyn. Perhaps that had an effect on his team-worst -18 plus/minus, an area he often leads the team.

Blake was limited to 19 minutes on the second half of a back-to-back while DeAndre helped fill in with a near double-double off the bench in 29 minutes. Blake will likely have more energy after some rest heading into Friday’s meeting against the Celtics.