On Tuesday, the Toronto Raptors travelled to Barclays Center to face Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Despite only having 8 active players, the Nets prevailed with the 131-129 OT win.
It’s been a tough week for the league, with many players entering health and safety protocols. On the heels of Chicago’s two postponed games, it was announced James Harden and Bruce Bowen would join teammates Lamarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Paul Millsap, James Johnson and Jeyon Carter in the leagues COVID-19 protocols. Kevin Durant was initially listed as questionable but later upgraded to active just before tipoff.
In 48 minutes, he led all players with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Patty Mills added 30 points and was key to the Nets win; he made a 3 in the 4th to force overtime and scored 6 of the teams 11 points in extra minutes. Off the bench, Kessier Edwards went 7 for 12, with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet led Toronto with 31 points and 9 assists. Four of the teams starters had 20+ points on the second night of a back to back. Despite a slow start, Scottie Barnes had a double double with 23 points and 12 assists, and went 3 of 5 from deep. Gary Trent Jr and Pascal Siakam both finished with 25.
The Raptors scored the most points in a quarter this season, with 44 in the 3rd. It was a stark contrast from the 25.2 points they have averaged in the 3rd. Of the leagues 30 teams, they sit 24th in points per game coming out of halftime, easily Toronto’s worst quarter. While the team took control in the 3rd, they were unable to sustain the high level of offence and defense.
In the final 17 minutes, they were outscored 40-29. Even with the loss, Toronto had a chance. With 3 seconds on the clock, Barnes had the ball and came close to winning it with a 3 point buzzer-beater. It didn’t happen on Tuesday, but it’s only a matter of time. After the game, Siakam described the rookie as “a guy that wants to win and compete”. He’s not afraid to take the final shot and play against the best. It is the kind of passion and intensity the city embraces. “The sky is the limit for him”.
Tuesday’s loss snaps Toronto’s 2 game win streak and extends Brooklyn’s to 3.
News around the league: Stephen Curry broke Ray Allen’s 3-point record on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. He now sits 1st all time with 2,977 3PM in 789 games. Ray Allen is 2nd with 2,973 while Reggie Miller is 3rd with 2,560. Both Allen and Miller were at attendance to watch Curry’s historic night.
UP NEXT: Toronto will get some extra time off as they return home to face Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Tip off is 7:30pm on TSN3/TSN4.