The Brooklyn Nets were a perfect 5-0 in the year 2014 with wins against big teams like the Thunder, Warriors and Heat, but on Saturday night that streak was snapped as the Toronto Raptors beat them 96-80 at the Air Canada Center.
“The guys fought for 48 minutes and we came up short,” Jason Kidd said. “We came to win a game, we put ourselves in a position to win, but the shots tended to go their way. Those guys fought though. Again, we had some looks that went down the other night that tonight didn’t. We move on.”
“A guy like Shaun played 52 minutes, as a player you don’t want to admit it, but after the fact you look back and it was pretty apparent that guys were winded,” Plumlee said.
This was a wild one as the Raptors took a six point lead after the first quarter, led by as much as 13 in the second quarter and then the Nets turned it around in the third quarter, went on an 18-3 run, and led by 10. Perhaps it was the double-overtime game against the Miami Heat the night before, but the Nets quickly faded, allowed the Raptors to go on an 18-4 run and suddenly they trailed by 13.
“Last six minutes in the third was tough on us, we were up 10 points, we had a chance to do some damage,” said Paul Pierce. “Maybe it was fatigue, I don’t know. But now we get to rest for a stretch. We come back next week after London and get back on track. ”
The Nets picked a bad time to end their winning streak as it came against the Atlantic Division leaders. If they had won, they would have been just two games out, but instead they are four out. Pierce pointed out that they will have other chances to beat the Raptors.
“We’ll see them again,” Pierce said. “We’ve got them a couple more times. They’re playing well since the trade. They’re a deep team. A lot of things were against us tonight and we still had a chance until the end of the third quarter they went on that run, they fed off the crowd.”
Pierce led the Nets with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Alan Anderson had 13 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Joe Johnson had 11 with six rebounds and six assists. The Nets shot 40 percent overall, they were out-rebounded 49-39, beaten on fastbreak points 13-6 and 21-13 on second chance points.
Mason Plumlee got his first NBA start with Kevin Garnett sitting after playing two overtimes against the Heat on Friday. He finished with six points, five rebounds, four blocks, two steals and fouled out after 28 minutes. ”It just felt good to play, I haven’t played in three or four games and as a player you just want to play,” Plumlee said.
The Nets leave the country after this as they are playing the Atlanta Hawks in London on Thursday. It sounds like the Nets don’t exactly want the interruption at this point, but realize that it’s good to get some rest. I wouldn’t worry too much about them though because it sounds like they’re excited to get a chance to see London.
“I’m very excited,” Plumlee said. “I’ve never been to London. They gave us a plus one, I’m going to take my mom. I owe her for life, I don’t have a girlfriend so I gotta take my mom.”
“I think it’s good for us right now,” Pierce said. “We’ve had a lot of games on consecutive nights so we get time to heal, be away, get to know one another again. It gives us a chance to be together again.
“It’s going to be a little of both,” Pierce added when asked if it was going to be business or pleasure. “You don’t leave the country and not enjoy it. We’re going to enjoy each other’s time, we’re going to enjoy the sights. We’re going to have fun, but then we have got to go to work. We’ve got a game to play.”