Raptors defeat Nets in late comeback led by Lowry and DeRozan

Paola Ditto
Marzo 24, 2018

That quickly became reality for the Nets in the fourth quarter after DeMar DeRozan scored nine of the Raptors' first 10 points in the final frame.

"And if we're serious about winning, we'll get some focus, throughout, with everybody, one through 15".

One Nets player who might see more action Friday is forward Dante Cunningham, who returned to action Wednesday after missing two games under concussion protocol. But led by Lowry's 10 points in the quarter, the Raptors closed the gap to 91-84 going into the fourth.

Only Valanciunas, with four trips, made it to the free throw line for Toronto in the first half.

The Eastern Conference-leading Raptors (53-19) also had a good lead in their game in Cleveland, up 79-64 after the first half despite allowing 42 first-quarter points. The All-Star stole the show for Toronto en route to a come-from-behind victory when he went off for a game-high 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes on the court.

"Credit to them", said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson.

D'Angelo Russell had 18 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double, but the Nets lost their second straight.

The Nets (23-50) offered a reverse picture.

This loss stings for the Nets, given the fact that they blew a 14-point lead on the road and also squandered a 23-point cushion the other night against the Charlotte Hornets. Head coach Dwane Casey chuckled pregame when asked about the lack of practice time recently, unsure when they would return to the practice floor.Fred VanVleet, who had missed the previous two games because of a bruised right hand, was a game-time decision and wasn't 100 percent. It was the 51st time in his Hall of Fame career that LeBron has led or tied both teams for the game-high in points, rebounds and assists - passing Wilt Chamberlain for the top spot on the NBA's all-time list.

The Raptors hold a commanding 11.5 game lead over the Cavs and are five games clear of the second-place Boston Celtics.

Casey made his feeling known when he gave the hook to starters DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, O.G. Anunoby and Serge Ibaka some four minutes into the third quarter. On Wednesday, the difference between the two teams from deep was zero, as the Raptors extended their current streak of at least 10 triples in a team-record 14 straight games.That young second unit, which has garnered plenty of attention, certainly didn't crumble in a hostile environment.

The game was briefly halted in the third quarter because Lowry complained that the rim Toronto was shooting on was uneven. Some might point to it being a product of the modern National Basketball Association and the style that Brooklyn plays - the team is second in the league in three-point attempts - and those are fair assessments.

Lowry shot 5 for 6 from 3-point range, giving him 215 3s this season and breaking his own team record of 212 set in 2015-16.

"We've got to play hard out of the gate, not be in a dogfight coming down to the last couple of possessions", DeRozan said. "The guy works on his three, gets in early in the morning, comes in before the games and gets it up".

Toronto came into the game with a team record 849 three-pointers made this season.

There were plenty of expectations for Crabbe when he arrived in a trade with the Trail Blazers, but few would have predicted that he would set a Nets record in his first campaign with the team. The previous mark was set by Deron Williams five seasons ago.

Friday's game marked the opening of a three-game homestand for the Raptors, with games Sunday against the Clippers and Tuesday against Denver. The franchise record for home wins in a season is 32, set in 2015-16.

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