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Raptors even series with Game 2 win over Nets

Apr 22, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

DeMar DeRozan DeMar DeRozan

The Nets had their chances in Game 2 against the Raptors, but missed opportunities more than anything are what will define this particular loss.

Toronto evened the first round playoff series at a game apiece with a 100-95 victory, but Brooklyn was in it until the final few possessions, which should give the Raptors pause in celebrating too excessively.

Paul Pierce was the Game 1 hero, scoring nine points down the stretch in all kinds of clutch situations to help the Nets pull out the victory. But he was dismal in this one offensively, picking up two early fouls which wrecked his team’s offensive rhythm, and finished with just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting in 25 minutes of action.

Pierce also launched a quick three with 16 seconds left with his team down four, when a quick two followed by an intentional foul (as the Nets had done on the previous possession) would have been a better choice in trying to extend the game while playing the percentages.

On the Raptors side, they got huge games from two players who were both invisible in Game 1. DeMar DeRozan was much more aggressive, and though he wasn’t all that efficient, he was impactful in finishing with a game-high 30 points. Amir Johnson did nothing statistically in Game 1, but ended up with 16 points and nine rebounds in this one.

Brooklyn has three guys who can take the game over offensively at times and none of them did so in Game 2 — yet, it was still anyone’s game with under a minute to play. This series feels more and more like it’s Brooklyn’s to lose, although the Raptors have enough talent to have something to say about that before the series is finished.

  1. zackd2 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    So did Mr Pierce forget to take his “clutch DNA” to the arena tonight?

  2. lakerade - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Someone has to win.

  3. elcapitanfiscal - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    I dont care much for the raptors, but maybe its just that I dont care much about Canada.

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Something’s wrong with you bro. Seek help

  4. borderline1988 - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    Something needs to be done about Kevin Garnett’s illegal screens. Practically every single bucket and every single look at the basket that Brooklyn got in the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter came off illegal screens set by Garnett.

    When Pierce got that clean look at a 3 when the score was 92-90, every Raptor fan felt their stomach knot up (luckily, Pierce missed). But I was screaming at Garnett, he held back 2 Raptor defenders so that Pierce could be wide open. How can they not call that. If Pierce would have hit that shot and the Raptors lose, it would be despicable.

    And when Johnson got that easy score with 20 seconds left on an inbounds play, that was all because of Garnett who again tied up Johnson’s defender and then hedged his own defender so Johnson could go straight to the rim.

    Can the Raptors send a mixtape of KG’s “highlights” to the officiating office? I’d hate to see the Raptors lose because of his cheap screens

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Take a shot for every illegal screen from Garnett=dead before halftime.

  5. borderline1988 - Apr 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    Btw, this series is absolutely Toronto’s to lose, not Brooklyn’s.

    Turnovers are killing the Raptors right now…credit the Nets for pressuring Toronto’s inexperienced ball-handlers but if Toronto tightens that aspect of their game up, they will look much stronger.
    Toronto is killing NJ in the post/rebounding, and I don’t see how that is going to change.

    Toronto needs to keep the course. NJ is packing the paint against Toronto’s guards, but they are not quick enough to defend Toronto’s guards without fouling them. Keep moving the ball and attacking NJ’s defense.
    NJ is not nearly as good of a defensive team as they seem to be. Shaun Livingston is making NJ look great on the defensive end, but once you get past him, no one’s blocking your shot or taking a charge.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      The Nets force a ton of turnovers. That’s what they do. What they don’t do is miss threes at this rate. Even if the insane turnover differential doesn’t stay this high all series, the Nets should compensate when the ball starts falling. Early in the game, it seemed like they couldn’t get a roll off the rim to save their lives. That’s the sort of thing that tends to even out.

      • theoldgreybeard - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Kevin, the reason why there are so many turnovers is because the Nets NEVER COMMIT A FOUL! Substandard refs who favour US teams. Screw it, Raps will still win!

      • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        The Nets played non-US teams all season when they were forcing turnovers like crazy? Seriously, the crap calls went both ways. I’ve documented some of the crap calls against the Nets. I’m sure you guys have a list of questionable calls against the Raps. The foul situation has been relatively even. Stop. Whining.

    • unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      Yea this is not the Raptor’s series to lose at all. Brooklyn did not play well, missed open looks, paul pierce had an off nice, the russian dude wasn’t dropping threes, and barely lost on the road. Doesn’t look good for Toronto.

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      A blow out win by the Raptors would have been a more persuasive, but a close game on your home court after losing the first at home says to me the Raptors might be in trouble here. They are about to face an experienced team on the road. I don’t expect their turnover problems to improve or their shooting percentage to go up, and that’s just how most teams do on the road. I’m hoping they win, but I smell trouble

  6. bowens3181 - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    I know every fan base claims that the media hates them, but as an outsider (I’m a Warriors fan so no bias) the lack of respect the Raptors get from the writers on this site is insane. They finished 3rd in the East and I have barely seen one positive thing written about them on PBT this season. Instead of crediting Toronto for the win, this recap is all about how Brooklyn gave away the game. I watched this game. Raps were clearly the better team. Only reason game was close was the insane amount of Toronto turnovers. And how the hell is this BKN’s series to lose? It’s 1-1. Could very easily go either way.
    Anyways that’s my rant.
    Go Warriors!

    • casualcommenter - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:43 AM

      The Raptors finished third in the East, but their win-loss record, they would have missed the playoffs in the Western Conference as the 9th seed.

      Actually, given that the Western Conference is tougher, if the Raptors were in the West, their win-loss record would have been worse than their win-loss record this year with an Eastern Conference-heavy schedule.

      The Raptors were the 3rd best team in a conference that had only 2 elite teams, and both elite teams finished the regular season by going 0.500 their final 2 months. Hence the lack of respect.

      • borderline1988 - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:08 AM

        Raptors had a winning record against the West btw. That includes wins over Memphis, OKC, GSW, Dallas, Houston.

        The East’s first half of the season was awful; meanwhile teams like Portland and Phoenix were red hot.

        In the second half of the season, Toronto, Chicago, NJ, and Washington were all much better, and honestly, at this point, are as good as any team after the Clippers in the Western Conference.

        So enough about the West being so much better than the East. You honestly think Dallas is a better team than Toronto just because they had an overall better record fueled by Toronto’s crappy first 2 months of the season? Or Memphis (who Toronto beat twice in the regular season, both times by double digits..)

    • antistratfordian - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:55 AM

      The Raptors are a pretty good team. They have a top 9 offense, a top 9 defense and a top 9 point differential. That’s impressive.

  7. steviep23 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    Not one article/update on the game 2 win for the Wizards…. Forgot there was a game? Let alone an OT playoff game. Wiz won btw 101-99 for anyone who may be interested.

  8. jbeagles23 - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    The raptors are missing their threes as well. This is not the series Brooklyn wanted

  9. cruzan80 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I’n not gonna lie…I wasnt aware of how good DeRozen was…dude took them home last night…he keep playing that they’ll win this series in 6.

  10. jbeagles23 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I guess you haven’t watched the raptors much this year. Their best player in Lowry hasn’t got going , they turned it over 19 times and missed as many threes as Brooklyn and still won. The longer this series goes the worse it is for Brooklyn

    • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Kyle Lowry is a really good player. He absolutely should have gotten Joe Johnson’s spot in the ASG. But the Raptors won that game because Lowry did get going in the fourth quarter. For everybody talking about DeMar Derozan, it was Lowry getting to the hoop at will that held the Nets off. We’ll see how Kidd and the Nets adjust in Game 3.

  11. jbeagles23 - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    On another note . If Brooklyn does win this series the heat sweep them handily. Beating the heat in the regular season is one this. Banging your heat about it like plumlee did sets you up to get crushed

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