It looked just like the game on Saturday. Paul Pierce picked up an and-one to cut the Toronto Raptors lead to just two points with just under a minute to play, but the magic wasn’t there on Tuesday as The Truth missed a pair of threes in the final 30 seconds and the Brooklyn Nets lost 100-95 to the Raptors in Toronto.
“Great looks,” Jason Kidd said of Pierce. “He had some great looks. It’s basketball sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. He made the three-point play, the table was set, then he misses a wide open three.”
“We had them on the ropes, definitely,” Pierce said when asked if the game was disappointing.
Pierce, who made comments before the game talking about not being able to buy clutch at Cosco, was anything but clutch and finished with just seven points, but at least had six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Joe Johnson led with 18 points, Deron Williams had 15, Mirza Teletovic had 14, Kevin Garnett had 13 and Shaun Livingston had 12.
“It was a tough loss, I thought we had our chances,” Johnson said. “I thought we fought back hard especially in the third quarter. We had a lead going into the fourth, but they pretty much beat us in the glass. They didn’t really make a lot of threes, we did what we wanted, but when they score as many points in the paint as they did it’s tough.”
The Nets went through a rough stretch early in the game and allowed the Raptors to go on a 15-3 run where their offense was completely ice cold. Defensively, they were strong throughout as they forced 20 turnovers and held the Raptors to 24 points or less in each of the first three quarters.
The Nets really struggled on the glass where they were outrebounded 52-30 and allowed 19 offensive boards. They completely fell apart in the fourth quarter when they allowed the Raptors to score 36 on 75 percent from the floor and DeMar DeRozan caught fire for 17 points including 9-for-11 from the line.
“36 points that’s too many points for anybody, preschool, Little League, YMCA, the Raptors, too many points,” Garnett said. “Fourth quarters are supposed to be our best quarters defensively. But on the road, hostile environment, we still had a chance to win. I’ll take that.”
That was the message the Nets had after the game — it was a disappointing loss, but they had a two-game set on the road that they split and now they’re headed back to Brooklyn tied at 1-1 which basically gives them home court advantage.
“We knew this was going to be a tight game,” Kidd said. “Now we have to protect home.”