Toronto Raptors suffer 106-105 loss to Brooklyn Nets in overtime
D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points, including six in overtime, as the Brooklyn Nets snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors 106-105 on Friday night.
Brooklyn picked the most unlikely way to end its skid. Snapping a 12-game slide against Toronto with its first victory over the Raptors since April 3, 2015.
Jarrett Allen made the go-ahead basket for the Nets with a little more than a minute left. Their only basket in overtime not made by Russell.
Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points for the Raptors, But Toronto couldn’t get a look for him on its final possession. They had to settle for Fred VanVleet’s 3-pointer attempt that just missed.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points for Brooklyn. Jonas Valanciunas added 24 points for the Raptors.
The Nets led by seven with under 5 minutes remaining in regulation. But Leonard fed VanVleet for a 3-pointer and then scored the next six points himself to give Toronto a 96-94 edge with 2:23 to play. But his shot from in the lane rattled out with 7 seconds to play. Also, he blocked Dinwiddie’s shot on the other end to force OT.
Russell had the first two baskets in the extra session, Leonard made the next two, and the Nets eventually pulled out a close game after they had fallen three times by two points during their losing streak.
Lowry shot just 1-for-8 from the field for three points. The NBA’s assists leader, however, did notch 11 assists.
“I have to play better,” Lowry said post-game. “I don’t make excuses and I don’t have any excuses to make. I’m just not playing well. So it’s as simple as that. I hold myself to a high standard and I have not played well.
“As the leader of this team, I have to figure out how to play a lot better offensively.”
Lowry cannot take all the blame as Toronto shot just 11-of-35 from beyond the arc (31 percent). Without Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 32 points and went 5-for-6 from downtown, that number would have been far worse.
Toronto also failed to capitalize on two game-winning chances. At the end of regulation and tied at 98, Leonard missed what would have been the game-winning shot, sending the game into overtime.
“Yeah, the ball went in and out,” he noted. “That’s just the way the game goes sometimes.”
Leonard has posted 30-plus points in four of his past five games. In the extra period, the four-time All-Star momentarily took over scoring seven of his 32 points. Including a monster dunk over Nets center Jarrett Allen.
Allen ended up scoring the only non-D’Angelo Russell (29 points) bucket in overtime as he netted the go-ahead layup with 1:04 left. After Leonard failed to secure an open look in the final seconds of overtime, Kyle Lowry found an open Fred Van Vleet who missed a game-winning trey.
“They both ended up being pretty good [looks] to be honest,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said of the team’s opportunities. “I’m not so sure we were trying to wait that long on either of them, it was good defense.”
Prior to the game Nurse also stressed the Raptors’ need to improve their rebounding and the team was promptly out-rebounded 60 to 41. Brooklyn also grabbed 16 offensive boards compared to Toronto’s six.
“We have to just go get the ball,” Leonard said. “Don’t think about it too much, just play hard, try to box your man out and just go get the ball.”
The Raptors will look to rebound against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday in Toronto.