The Toronto Raptors closed their preseason campaign with a win over the Brooklyn Nets last night. Nick Nurse’s guys were victorious at the Barclays Center, defeating the rival with 123-107. It was relatively a routine win over the Nets, in a game which was decided in the second period when guests dropped 46 points.
For all those who believed that the Raptors are going to be just an average team after their championship core fell apart, there is news – they weren’t right. The only Canadian team in the NBA showed that despite all the departures, there is still a high concentration of quality in their crew.
And that was especially obvious in the second quarter. The Raptors made a 9-0 run coming into that sequence, but the Nets responded. However, with the result 43-41, the guests once again made a surge, this time 10-0. As time went by, the advantage grew bigger and bigger.
The scoreboard at the halftime showed 74-53 for the visitors, who were in command. Until the end of the match, the teams were even, and both coaches used that time to give a chance to those guys who are fighting for their place on the roster.
One of them was Terrence Davis II, who scored 10 points for Toronto, and proved himself to be a useful asset for Nurse’s rotation. Especially because of his versatility.
“Right now, he’s a combo guard, probably combo-ing more towards the shooting guard, but we’d like him to be able to play the (point) and be our third point guard maybe.”
OG Anynoby had a team-high 18 points, with 6 boards and four three-pointers. Fred VanVleet posted 16 buckets with also four downtown hits and added 8 assists. The FIBA World Cup champion with Spain, Marc Gasol was one board shy of reaching a double-double as he scored 11 points, same as Pascal Siakam/.
The one guy who did post double figures in both rebounds and points was Serge Ibaka with 15 buckets and 10 rebs. The fans had a chance to see Kyle Lowry for the first time since the finals. In 26 minutes, Raptors’ starting PG had 9 points and 5 dimes.
Meanwhile, on the other side, Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 19 points in 25 minutes. He was shooting 7 of 17 from the field, and ahd 4 assists, but also 4 turnovers. Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie had 13 each, while Jarret Allen added 12 with 7 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 5 but 9 boards.
What really made a difference in the last night’s game were the three-pointers. The Raptors made 24 in 47 attempts, while on the other side, the Nets made 13 in 40 tries. That is not such a bad percentage, but Toronto’s productivity was unreal.
What was also important regarding this match were the Hong Kong protesters outside and inside the Barclays Center. Some of them were unhappy because of the way certain NBA figures softly defended Daryl Moorey and his stance on the crisis in China, while others protested against the Nets’ owner Joe Tsai who had a Facebook post in which he explained how did the Moorey’s tweet disrupt the relationship between China and the NBA.