Toronto Raptors Unable to Overcome Deep Nets Team on Back-to-Back
The Toronto Raptors hung tough but ultimately ran out of talent on the second night of a back-to-back.
Things were not supposed to be easy heading into Tuesday night’s contest against the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets had Kevin Durant back in the fold this time, but ironically it wasn’t Brooklyn’s superstar duo that burnt the Raptors in a must-win game.
Holding both Durant and Kyrie Irving at bay, the Raptors simply did not have the bandwidth to account for the Nets supporting cast. Jeff Green led the way with 22 points while the Nets had three players finish in double figures coming off the bench. As the Nets rolled to the 116-103 victory, 90 of the 116 total points scored were poured in by players not named Irving or Durant.
For as talented as the Nets are, even without James Harden in the line-up, the Raptors were right there neck-and-neck with the Finals favourites. In fact, the Raptors held a slim lead heading into the final frame, but couldn’t close the deal.
Nevertheless, there were some bright spots.
Khem Birch had another solid game, finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds while continuing to make hustle play after hustle play. Kyle Lowry had a solid bounce back effort with 24 points, while OG Anunoby finished the night with 21 points, six boards and six assists. Rookie Malachi Flynn had himself another nice night, adding 13 points off the bench.
With a very tough stretch against powerhouse Western Conference opponents coming up, the Raptors have pinned themselves up against a wall. They are still fighting for their playoff lives, but with each passing game, it really does seem as though a postseason berth is simply not in the cards for this up-and-down Raptors team.
The Denver Nuggets are next on the schedule for the Raptors and things only get harder from there.