Monday, January 27, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Raptors 104, Nets 103
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- There would be no payback. Not on this night.
The Brooklyn Nets have lost twice in 2014, both times to the Toronto Raptors.
Monday at Barclays Center it was Toronto 104, Brooklyn 103.
A bad pass by Deron Williams intended for Joe Johnson proved to be the difference. Patrick Patterson intercepted it and ended up making the game winner with 6 seconds left. Paul Pierce's desperation heave hit the front of the rim, and that was it.
What it means: The Nets’ five-game winning streak is over, and their lack of late-game execution is to blame. Brooklyn dropped to 20-23 overall, 10-2 in January. The lineup of Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Johnson, Pierce and Kevin Garnett is no longer undefeated (8-1). Huge win by the Raptors (23-21), who were without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan.
Truth: Pierce had 23 of his season-high 33 points in the second half. He also knocked down a season-high seven 3-pointers. Pierce appeared to hurt his right shoulder/neck at the end of the first quarter but remained in the game.
Play of the game: Kyle Lowry, once a Brooklyn trade target, hit a 48-footer from just beyond half court as time expired in the second quarter. Lowry torched the Nets, scoring 20 of his 31 points in the first half.
Suspect officiating: There were a lot of fouls called (41). There were a lot of free throw attempts (48). There were a lot of technicals assessed (three). Pierce and Garnett were both hit with technical fouls in the third quarter. So was Lowry.
Say it ain't Joe: Johnson’s struggles continued (12 points, 3-for-10 shooting). In his past three games, he’s just 6-for-22 from the field.
Champs are here? The Nets welcomed several members of the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks and gave them a suite to watch the game. Richard Sherman sat courtside. Jason Terry, who hails from Seattle, is a die-hard Seahawks fan, and hopes to attend Sunday’s Super Bowl at nearby MetLife Stadium. Terry hugged Sherman quickly before checking into the game at the start of the second quarter.
Up next: The Nets don’t play again until Friday night, when they host MVP candidate Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.