Raptors Survive Injury Scares, Overcome Brooklyn Nets in Blowout
Not today, not today, Injury Bug!
As the Toronto Raptors closed out the Brooklyn Nets, their minds dreaded some more injury scares – a common theme throughout the first part of their title defense season.
Nurse said VanVleet felt some tightness in back which is why he didn’t finish the game. Ibaka tweaked his ankle. Neither serious.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) January 5, 2020
Fred VanVleet left the game with a suspected ankle injury, while Serge Ibaka looked to have irritated his back. Thankfully, Head Coach Nick Nurse helped every Raptors fan take a deep exhale, stating that neither injury is believed to be serious, and both Ibaka and VanVleet should be right back in the fold come Tuesday night when the Portland Trailblazers come to town.
Looking past the scares, the Raptors snapped out of their offensive slump after a slow start to Saturday night’s matchup. Led by Fred VanVleet’s 29 points and 11 assists, the Raptors used the second half to blow past the Brooklyn Nets en route to a 121-102 victory. Serge Ibaka added 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while Kyle Lowry overcame a slow first half to finish with 26 points in the win.
“We know that Miami game is a game that ain’t going to happen much,” Lowry said. “Just got to keep playing.”
With the Nets hanging around in the first half, Nurse commended the play of his backcourt, which helped propel his squad to it’s 24th victory of the season.
“I think both those guys really had good floor games as well,” Nurse said. “There was a lot of silliness, it seemed like for us, falling over or kicking the ball around first 15 minutes of the game and then after that we looked really, really well organized.”
With the win, the Raptors continue their dominance over the Nets, marking their 17th win in their last 18 meetings with Brooklyn. After allowing the Nets to shoot the ball at a 61% clip in the first quarter, the Raptors locked in defensively and began to take control of the basketball game on both ends of the floor.
“They forced us into 24 turnovers. That’s what they do,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We couldn’t handle their pressure. We could not handle their swarming defence.”
Injured, but never counted out, the Raptors remain right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.