The Brooklyn Nets stink right now. Maybe going north of the border will help. The Nets, who have lost five straight, visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
INJURY TO INSULT: The Nets (3-10, 1-7 away), who are possibly a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater away from having lost nine in a row, will once again be without Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee). Johnson is coming off a season-high 34-point performance Sunday, but he didn’t have any help. Paul Pierce is shooting 25.5 percent in his past four games, while Kevin Garnett is shooting 34.9 percent for the season.
THIRD-RATE: The Nets enter action Tuesday as the worst third-quarter team in the NBA in terms of average scoring margin (minus-5.2 points per game). In their 10 losses, they have been outscored by 96 points in the third -- including a season-worst 19 on Sunday. Pierce said they aren’t making the proper adjustments -- which falls on Jason Kidd and the coaching staff. The Nets are 0-10 when losing the third, 3-0 when winning it.
THE RAPTOR RAP: Sad as it is, the Raptors (6-7), who have won two in a row, are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division, three games in front of the Nets. Brooklyn is allowing 104.8 points per game on the road, which could bode well for Toronto. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay are both averaging more than 20 points, though they aren’t exactly shooting well from the field.