Win streak against Brook­lyn ends with ugly over­time loss

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - DOUG SMITH SPORTS RE­PORTER

The Toronto Rap­tors fi­nally played with fire and got burned.

Af­ter play­ing be­low av­er­age for most of the night, the Rap­tors were un­able to pull out a win, los­ing a 106-105 over­time de­ci­sion to the Brook­lyn Nets on Fri­day night.

Fred VanVleet missed a gamewin­ning three-point at­tempt at the buzzer to end the Rap­tors’ poor fi­nal possession, and Toronto fell to a Nets team that had car­ried an eight-game los­ing streak into the con­test.

Toronto had also won its last 12 games against the Nets.

Kawhi Leonard had 32 points to lead Toronto but Kyle Lowry strug­gled and had only three.

The game was far from an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing af­fair, with enough poor shots missed badly to set the cause of pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball back a bit.

The Rap­tors be­gan the fourth quar­ter miss­ing nine of 11 shots but then went on a 9-0 run when the Nets start­ing throw­ing the ball away and run­ning them­selves into shot-clock problems re­peat­edly.

Toronto went to a small lineup to fin­ish the game and pro­vide some en­ergy, with Pas­cal Si­akam and Leonard in the front­court with Lowry, VanVleet and Danny Green.

Toronto gave up an as­ton­ish­ing 16 of­fen­sive re­bounds to the Nets, fail­ing to chase down long re­bounds off missed three- point­ers and re­peat­edly be­ing out­mus­cled at the rim. The Rap­tors were out-re­bounded 60-41 over­all.

It was the only way Brook­lyn was able to stay in the game and set up the dra­matic fin­ish. Af­ter a Leonard miss, the Nets had a chance to win in the fi­nal five sec­onds but Spencer Din­wid­die missed a shot at the rim.

Get­ting one to go: Kyle Lowry had to be the hap­pi­est guy in the arena in the sec­ond quar­ter when he fi­nally got a three­p­ointer to go.

The Rap­tors point guard, who got off the most tor­rid start of his ca­reer in the sea­son’s first month, had made just four of 20 three-point­ers head­ing into the game.

He missed his first one Fri­day be­fore drilling an open look from the top. Still, he fin­ished 1-for-7 from long dis­tance.

East­ern move­ment: Teams try­ing to keep pace with the Rap­tors made moves on Fri­day, with Mil­wau­kee get­ting guard Ge­orge Hill from Cleve­land and the Cavs send­ing for­ward Sam Dekker to the Wash­ing­ton Wizards. Hill is not ex­pected to play in Toronto for the Bucks on Sun­day.

This and that: The Rap­tors, as they did in Mem­phis a week ago, got on a run when they were way be­hind by play­ing a long stretch of zone de­fence in the sec­ond quar­ter … Ed Davis and DeMarre Car­roll were the ex-Rap­tors in the game

Up next: A matchup be­tween the top two teams in the East — and a juicy bat­tle be­tween Kawhi Leonard and Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo — when the Rap­tors host the Mil­wau­kee Bucks on Sun­day at 6 p.m.

SARAH STIER GETTY IM­AGES

Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points, but Toronto couldn’t get a key bas­ket when needed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.