VanVleet, Powell Lead Raptors Past Nets to Take Tight Game 2
The Brooklyn Nets refuse to go away without a fight.
In what was a gritty and scrappy afternoon playoff game, the Nets fought hard and maintained control for the majority of the game. Each time the defending champions etched closer, the Nets were able to create separation.
Then, in the fourth quarter, the Toronto Raptors finally broke through.
Buckling down defensively after the first quarter, the Raptors struggled with their shot all afternoon. They hit 68% of their free throws and shot just 44 percent from the field, but behind a 30 point fourth quarter, the Raptors were able to take control of the lead and hold on for the nail-biting 104-99 Game 2 victory.
“This is a really good example of playoff basketball,” Nurse said following the victory. “Each game takes a whole different shape and I would assume Game 3 is going to take another one. That’s what makes it so interesting and intriguing, I think. I always say there’s a lot of ways to win a game and you just have to find one of them. Tonight was a different way to do it.”
Led as always by the strong back-court play of Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, it was Norman Powell’s energy off the bench that was able to swing the game into the Raptors favour. The trio combined for 69 points (nice), 20 rebounds, and 15 assists in the win, giving the Raptors a 2-0 series lead.
“It was funky,” commented Nurse on the play of his team “That’s what you do, you keep searching and searching and searching, and I’m sure you were seeing how much we were searching for matchups and tendencies. It took us a long time – we went to some zone, we went to some triangle-and-two. We were searching for a spark, but we finally found it.”
Meanwhile, the Nets take another big hit heading into Game 3 as sharpshooter Joe Harris has left the bubble to tend to a non-medical emergency. The already under-manned Nets will need to keep scrambling if they hope to stand any chance against the defending champs for the remainder of this series.
Game 3 goes on Friday afternoon.