The Toronto Raptors completed a 16-point comeback, to beat the Brooklyn Nets 104-99 at the Air Canada Centre.
Brook Lopez went for 35 points and 7 blocks, helping the Nets hold the momentum up until the final minutes of the 3rd quarter. The Raptors would answer back, starting off the final frame on a 20-4 run that would help them secure a home win.
The victory for the Raptors improves their record to 42-20, while bumping them up to 3-0 against the Nets this season.
From the 1:45 mark of the 3rd quarter to the 6:45 mark of the 4th, the Raptors went on a 28-4 run. Without it, their whole performance against the Brooklyn Nets would of looked like a complete joke.
The Raptors looked horrible in the first half, only scoring 42 points on 40 per cent shooting from the field, 25 per cent from 3-point distance, while giving up 9 turnovers to the Nets. On the bright side, DeMar DeRozan did provide the highlight of the game with an incredible dunk in the 1st quarter.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 9, 2016
Things changed in the second half, as Kyle Lowry and DeRozan led the Raptors to victory by combining for 36 points out of their eventual 48. Five Raptors were also able to finish in double digits, including Terrence Ross and Patrick Patterson with 11 each off the bench.
Jason Thompson also started the game for the Raptors, getting his first real taste of action with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks in 24 minutes.
Just like the offence, the Raptors defence picked up in the second half. In the first, they were humiliated by giving up 58 points to the Brooklyn Nets, while letting them shoot 53.2 per cent from the field. Luckily for the Raptors, the Nets didn’t seem to rely on their shooting, finishing an unfulfilling 6-12 from 3-point land.
Instead, the Nets were able to pound the Raptors down low, outscoring them 38-28 in the paint. Lopez was the biggest focus on offence for the Nets, torching the Raptors with 14 points in the first half, then another 14 in the third quarter.
The Raptors were able to find their footing on defence in the 4th, allowing the Nets to shoot only 38.9 per cent from the field. The final frame produced the most energy from the Raptors, who were able to finish the game with 7 team blocks.
The Raptors out rebounded the Nets 40-29, behind Bismack Biyombo‘s 4 offensive boards.
It wasn’t the biggest rebounding showcase. as the Raptors quickly beat the seventh worst rebounding team in the league. Biyombo was the only player to reach double digits in rebounds for both teams, snatching a total of 10. Ross pulled in the second highest with 6, to go along with his 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
For the Nets, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thomas Robinson, and Lopez all led the team with 5 boards.
Game Ball: Kyle Lowry
Without him on the court, it’s quite possible that the Raptors would of suffered back-to-back losses. Instead, the Air Canada Centre watched Lowry guide the Raptors in the second half by scoring 17 points, and dishing out 6 of his total 9 assists
The biggest impact he had was making sure the Raptors didn’t slip away in the final minutes of the game.After they had unleashed on the Nets to start the 4th, the Nets came rallying back on an 8-0 run. But it was Lowry who came the rescue, grabbing the defensive rebound to start a fast break that ended with an easy lay-up.
Besides his scoring he also provided every scrap play, from picking up the offensive foul to the extra rebound.
All stats for this article are from NBA.com
You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97