After a big victory in Game 3 it looked like the Brooklyn Nets were poised to take a commanding lead in their series against the Toronto Raptors, but instead they came out flat right to start the game and ran out of gas after they overcame a 17-point deficit to lose 87-79 at the Barclays Center on Sunday night. The series is now tied at 2-2.
“I thought we just got out of character,” Jason Kidd said. “We were trying to do it individually instead of making a play for our teammate. They picked up a couple of charges, we missed a couple of shots we made in the past. We’ll go back and look at how we can get better. We played a little bit better in the second and third quarter and then in the fourth, we didn’t execute or make a shot when we were wide open.”
Paul Pierce led the Nets with 22 points, but they hardly got offense from anyone else. Mirza Teletovic had 12 points off the bench and Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams each had 10. Joe Johnson was a complete non-factor as he was held to just seven points on 2-for-7 shooting. Meanwhile, the Raptors had plenty of offense as DeMar DeRozan scored 24, Kyle Lowry had 22 and AMir Johnson had 17.
Things were bad right away as the Raptors jumped out to a 13-2 lead early. The Nets caught up with them for a while, but eventually trailed by 17 points in the second quarter. The Nets started to turn it around late in the first half though when Garnett hit a jumper with 5:13 left that started a 14-6 run.
The third quarter was when the Nets really started to click, Pierce caught fire and scored 10 of his 22 points as they opened with an 8-0 run.
Things fell apart, for the second game in a row, during the fourth quarter. The Nets committed six turnovers that quarter, shot just 17.6 percent and only scored two points in the final six minutes. It was ugly.
This was a real big missed opportunity for the Nets. If they could have established a 3-1 lead, it’s easy to picture a team with little playoff experience like the Raptors shrinking. However, they let them back in the series as the Nets came out with little effort in this game while the Raptors clearly played with desperation. So it’s on to Game 5 in Toronto on Wednesday with the series tied at two games apiece.