|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT22:30 , April 3, 2019
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York Attendance: 17,732
Nets tangle with Raptors amid playoff chase
Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets
- The Raptors have won four straight, holding each opponent under 110 points, and outscoring teams on average 118.5-101.3 in that span. In their most recent win against the Magic, the Raptors shot 51.4 percent (19-of-37) from three, their second-highest mark in a game with at least 35 attempts this season.
- Danny Green scored a season-high 29 points in the win over Orlando, his second-highest point total in his career (33 points vs. Phoenix on April 11, 2014). Green made seven threes in the win and his teams have now gone 41-14 (.745) when he makes at least five triples (regular season & postseason).
- The Nets have gone 1-1 at home following a 2-5 road trip, most recently losing to Milwaukee on Monday, 131-121. Brooklyn committed 23 turnovers in the loss, its second most in a game this season (25 at Boston on January 7).
- Caris LeVert scored 24 points off the bench for the Nets in the loss to Milwaukee. Brooklyn has 31 games with at least one bench player scoring 20+ points, tied with Washington for the second most in the NBA this season (LAC -- 51).
- The Raptors have won their last two games against the Nets after dropping the first game between the teams this season. Toronto has scored at least 120 points in two straight versus Brooklyn, one shy of its longest streak versus any team (120+ in three straight versus four teams, active streak vs. Washington).
- Toronto has gone 14-1 versus Brooklyn since 2015-16 -- this is the second-best record by any team versus a single opponent in that span (min. 10 games), trailing only Golden State versus Phoenix (15-1).
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The Toronto Raptors likely will be the second seed in the Eastern Conference, with a potential first-round opponent being the Brooklyn Nets.
Or the Detroit Pistons. Or the Miami Heat. Or the Orlando Magic.
While the Raptors continue tuning up for their sixth consecutive postseason appearance with Wednesday's game at Brooklyn, the Nets are in a wild scramble to secure one of the final three seeds in the East.
The Raptors (55-23) secured their fifth Atlantic Division title in six seasons by getting 29 points from Danny Green and hitting 19 3-pointers in a 121-109 home win over the Orlando Magic on Monday. They are three games behind Milwaukee for the top spot in the East.
"There's a lot of satisfaction in it," said first-year coach Nick Nurse, who was an assistant for Dwane Casey for the other four division titles. "I know it doesn't mean a lot in this day and age, but it's not every day you win a division. That's a thumbs up, man."
Toronto has won four straight since taking a one-point home loss on an unlikely buzzer-beater by Charlotte's Jeremy Lamb on March 24. The Raptors picked up three of those wins against the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks before shooting 50 percent Monday night.
The Raptors are at the point of their season where monitoring minutes, getting rest and finding lineup combinations are priorities.
Kyle Lowry has not exceeded 30 minutes in five games after being inactive for four of five outings. Kawhi Leonard has been rested five times since March 1. Marc Gasol has started the past 11 games at center with Serge Ibaka coming off the bench.
Playing the Raptors is part of Brooklyn owning the toughest remaining schedule in the league. The Nets (39-39) head into their penultimate home game a half-game behind sixth-place Detroit, a half-game up on Miami and one game ahead of Orlando.
The Nets own head-to-head tiebreakers against Orlando and Detroit but not with Miami.
Following Wednesday, the Nets visit Milwaukee and Indiana on a back-to-back this weekend before ending the season at home next Wednesday against Miami.
Brooklyn has lost six of its past nine games since a four-game winning streak. The Nets returned home from a seven-game trip by beating Boston on Saturday but found themselves rallying from a slow start and falling short in a 131-121 home loss to Milwaukee on Monday.
"We weren't ready for that onslaught," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "Give them a lot of credit. They came with the juice and the energy.
The Nets fell to 5-11 against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference on a night when they trailed by as many as 22 points, shot 41.5 percent and committed 23 turnovers.
"We have to come out against a playoff quality opponent and try to set the tone early," Brooklyn's Joe Harris said. "We came out and dug ourselves a hole again, and it's too difficult to try and come back over the course of the game."
D'Angelo Russell registered a double-double Monday, getting 28 points and 10 rebounds. It was his 29th game with at least 20 points since Jan. 1 and his first points-rebounds double-double.
Another sign of good news for the Nets was Caris LeVert, who scored 24 points. It was his most since returning from missing three months with a foot injury.
Toronto has won 14 of the past 15 meetings with the Nets.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 2, 2019