Nets end eight-game skid, edge Rap­tors

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS | TOP STORIES -

Kawhi Leonard’s short shot went in and out. Fred VanVleet's 3pointer went around the rim and spun out. For 3 1/2 years, the Toronto Rap­tors had al­ways found a way to beat the Brook­lyn Nets.

This time, not one, but two chances just wouldn’t fall.

“Just how the game goes some­times,” Leonard said.

That al­lowed the Nets to snap an eight-game los­ing streak over­all and a 12-game skid against the Rap­tors with a 106-105 vic­tory in over­time on Fri­day night.

D'An­gelo Rus­sell scored 29 points, in­clud­ing six in over­time, and the Nets beat the Rap­tors for the first time since April 3, 2015.

“Needed that. Re­ally did,” Rus­sell said.

“It was tough. We knew what we (had) to do to get it. So now we just got to keep go­ing.”

Jar­rett Allen made the goa­head bas­ket for the Nets with a lit­tle more than a minute left, their only bas­ket in over­time not made by Rus­sell.

Leonard scored 32 points for the Rap­tors, but Toronto couldn’t get a look for him on its fi­nal possession and had to set­tle for VanVleet's 3-pointer that just missed.

Spencer Din­wid­die scored 17 points for Brook­lyn, which had been reg­u­larly fall­ing short dur­ing its los­ing streak.

The Nets had lost five times by sin­gle dig­its, in­clud­ing three two-point losses.

Jonas Valan­ci­u­nas added 24 points for the Rap­tors.

The Nets led by seven with un­der five min­utes re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion, but Leonard fed VanVleet for a 3-pointer and then scored the next six points him­self to give Toronto a 96-94 edge with 2:23 to play. But his shot from in the lane rat­tled out with seven sec­onds to play.

“Ball was in and out,” Leonard said.

He then he blocked Din­wid­die’s shot on the other end to force OT.

Rus­sell had the first two bas­kets in the ex­tra ses­sion, Leonard made the next two, but the Rap­tors couldn’t get one more shot to fall and take a vic­tory be­fore their sched­ule turns tough. “They scored four points in about the first 40 sec­onds of the over­time and then we held them to four the rest of the over­time.

They ended up with eight but we didn’t do too much bet­ter,” Rap­tors coach Nick Nurse said.

The Bucks now host Mil­wau­kee on Sun­day be­fore a four-game trip to the Clip­pers, Golden State, Port­land, and Den­ver.

The Bucks are sec­ond in the East and three of the West teams are among the top four in that con­fer­ence.

The Nets jumped to a 13-2 lead and were ahead 24-20 at the end of Leonard’s 0-for-4 first quar­ter, but he came back with nine points in the sec­ond as Toronto tied it at 53 at half­time.

“I just tried to make it tough for him. He’s a phe­nom­e­nal player. Last five games he’s been av­er­ag­ing 30, just be­ing ag­gres­sive and be­ing him­self,” Nets for­ward Ron­dae Hol­lisJ­ef­fer­son said.

“Just tried to speed him (up), make him take tough shots, make him turn, make him pick it up, set­tle for midrange.”

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