Rocked by COVID Outbreak, Shorthanded Nets Outlast Raptors in Overtime
The Toronto Raptors battled, but a poor fourth quarter proved to be costly.
Despite going up against a Brooklyn Nets team ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak, the Raptors were unable to take care of business, blowing a fourth quarter lead and falling by a score of 131-129 in overtime.
Frustrating is the only way to characterize this one as once again, the Raptors failed to take advantage of a clear opportunity presented in front of them.
That is just how this season has gone.
Going up against a Nets team already without superstar Kyrie Irving and sharpshooter Joe Harris, the Nets lost the likes of James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap and Bruce Brown due to COVID-19. Kevin Durant himself was nursing an ankle injury which he suffered a couple days prior. Yet, the Raptors were unable to close the deal, letting Durant go off for a 34 point triple-double, watching five other members of the Nets finish in double-digits.
“I know KD had a triple-double here and 34 points, but [Scottie Barnes] was really working hard and I thought he was making it hard on him, for the most part,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse following the disheartening loss. “I was impressed that he was working so hard on him and at least making it difficult. I think when he gets into those areas, he’s really got some great length. Durant’s a really good defender and really long himself, but I think he’s got some of that herky-jerky, head fake, turnaround. I’m not sure he realized who was guarding him. He was just getting into his good spot and into his good move and just finished them off.”
Bum ankle or not, Durant is never an easy cover and Barnes was able to go toe-to-toe with the superstar forward all night.
“I would say I really just was able to get to my spots where I would make little moves to get him off balance,” said Barnes of Durant’s length. “So it really didn’t bother me so much. It just looked really open to me.”
Barnes would finish the night with a strong 23 point and 12 rebound performance. Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. added 25 points apiece in the loss, while Fred VanVleet scored a team high 31 points. Contrary to their blowout win against the Sacramento Kings, the Raptors bench reverted back to its inconsistent form and continues to be a concern this season.
Things don’t get any easier for Toronto as they take on the new three-point king and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.