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Nets continue to struggle on the road

derozan-vs-nets

December 20th  2016

Nets 104 vs. Raptors 116

 

Three road games have resulted in three straight losses for the Brooklyn Nets. In their third consecutive road game the Nets made a visit to frigid Ontario Canada as they took on the Toronto Raptors. Brook Lopez was out due to rest and Isaiah Whitehead was also out due to leg soreness. Jeremy Lin got the start at point guard for Brooklyn. DeMar Derozan was named Eastern Conference player of the week and looked to continue his offensive prowess. The Nets looked to contain him and his backcourt mate Kyle Lowry. Luis Scola got the start in place of Brook Lopez against his former team. The Nets came into the game having lost 22 consecutive road games against Eastern Conference opponents, they looked to break that streak.

 

The first quarter saw the Nets and the Raptors both turning the ball over early. Derozan was aggressive offensively from the tip but missed quite a few shots. The Nets played with passion earl and with 4:53 left in the first they tied the game at 17 after a 3-point make by Joe Harris.  The Raptors, however finished the quarter with a flurry as they converted a few turnovers into points and led 29-23 as they shot 53% from the floor. Derozan had 9-points in the first but seemed to be forcing the issue on offense as he shot 3-10 from the floor. Trevor Booker led the Nets with 6-points in the first.

 

Anthony Bennett also returned to face one of his former teams; the Canadian played for his hometown team last season and was picked up by the Nets in the offseason. The Raptors really got into an offensive rhythm in the second quarter, their reserves led by Corey Joseph, came in and executed while playing instinctively and aggressively on defense. They built a 47-39 lead with 5 minutes left in the first half and extended to a 12-point lead after a Demar Derozan layup with 2:30 left. The Nets competed early but just could not stop the Raptors on defense and shot only 37% from the field. The Raptors just took control of the game in the final 4 minutes of the first half as they finished with a 17-3 run and led 64-46 at the break.

 

Sean Kilpatrick was 0-4 until he hit the first basket for the Nets at the beginning of the second half. He scored 8 quick points but could not make a dent in the deficit. The Raptors went up by 20 after an 8-0 run. At that point the Raptors had 40-points in the paint which highlighted the absence of Brook Lopez for the Nets. The Raptors continued to attack the paint throughout the game. DeMar Derozan continued to struggle however the offensive attack for the Raptors was a balanced one. They took a 91-72 lead into the fourth.

 

The Nets just could not compete offensively with the Raptors, it felt like they were down by 20-points for the entire second half. They made small runs but they were in vain. Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 38-points they got good contributions from DeMarre Carroll who had 17-points and Norman Powell who finished with 21-points. The Raptors shot 46% from the floor while scoring 24-points off turnovers.

 

The Nets were led by Rondae-Hollis Jefferson who had 19-points in about 21 minutes of action before he fouled out of the game. Jeremy Lin added 12 as he continues to try to get his rhythm since his return from a hamstring injury. The Nets could just never recover from the big run to end the first half. They shot 39% from the floor overall and only 28% from behind the arc. The Nets had a 52-48 advantage on the boards but could not convert those extra possessions into points. There was effort, they missed some open looks  but they just played a better team.

Brooklyn’s road woes continue, they head back to Brooklyn to take on the Golden State Warriors on Thursday followed by a match up with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on the road. They are now 1-13 overall on the road this season.

Thank You for reading

Sherman Gomez is a staff writer for PureSportsNY

Follow Him on Twitter Sherman@shermangmz1

Photo Credit : Tom Szczerbowski

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