Game Recap: Raptors 105 – Nets 89

Recap: Brooklyn fell to Toronto, 105-89, as they suffered their second consecutive loss.

Need to Know: Mason Plumlee picked up his second straight 20-plus point game netting a career-high 23 points and 8 rebounds. But Plumlee’s offensive burst was unable to halt the Raptors as they bulldozed over the Nets 105-89.

The Nets set the pace in the first quarter but trailed by one heading into the half. From then on, Brooklyn steadily lost momentum as the Raptors ultimately outshot the Nets 29-16 in the fourth.

Deron Williams struggled all game, despite netting a 3-pointer to get the Nets on the board first. He finished the night with 11 points and seven assists on 5-of-15 shooting and five turnovers.

Joe Johnson missed three straight free throws while picking up 17 points on the night. Though he wasn’t alone in missed free throw attempts as the Nets made only five of 13 free throws in the final quarter.

Links: AP recap | Box Score

What’s next: The Nets head to the Quicken Loans Arena in Ohio to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday at 7:30.

Tonight’s Game: Nets at Raptors

The Nets head north to take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on YES, ESPN and WFAN.

Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Mason Plumlee, another guard and Deron Williams are expected to start.

Recent Meetings

Last season, Joe Johnson averaged 15.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 4.0 apg in 33.8 mpg in four meetings against the Raptors, while Deron Williams averaged 13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 8.0 apg in 32.5 mpg in two of the Nets’ four games against Toronto.

The Nets posted a 2-2 regular season record against Toronto last season and a 4-3 playoff record. In 11 games played between the two teams last season, the aggregate score was 1,070-1,070.

The Nets shot 41.0 percent (34-84) from long range in their four games against the Raptors last season.

lopez point

Lopez will be easiest for the Nets to move

It continues to look as if Brook Lopez is the most likely to be moved if the Nets decide to take a chisel to their foundation.

ESPN’s Chad Ford conducted an online chat on Wednesday and said that, while the market will be limited for the Nets’ Big Three, Lopez is the most likely chip to be moved.

“The market is very, very limited [for Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez]. Lopez is probably the easiest of the three to trade. But so many teams have become experts on the cap and the CBA that they are unwilling to take the mistakes that Billy King has made over and over again. Very few teams are willing to blatantly mortgage their future the way the Nets have been.”

Brian Erni

Most of the trade chatter has seemed to center around Lopez, and I think that makes sense. Despite his injury history, he certainly has the most upside. He’s only 26, and is under contract for 2015-16 at a large, but not unreasonable amount. Additionally, I don’t think it’s gone overlooked by Brooklyn’s front office that their huge second half run last year coincided with Lopez’s season ending injury. And their best showing of this season — a route against Charlotte — happened to feature a lot of ball movement and tons of space for their shooters; factors that just aren’t there when the offense is going through Lopez. Add in Lionel Hollins’ controversial tough love approach to making Lopez better and I could easily see where Lopez is in a different uniform by the end of this season.

A game the Nets really couldn’t afford to lose

Brian Erni

No Chris Bosh? No Josh McRoberts? No Danny Granger? No problem! The Heat were woefully short-staffed on Tuesday night at Barclays Center, but it didn’t matter. The Nets, once again, had a chance to prove they had turned a corner and, like clockwork, fell flat on their face.

It was an emotional night inside Brooklyn’s arena. Players donned neon-lettered shirts with the name and number Jeffery “Gamblero” Vanchiro wore on his custom Nets jersey when attending games. Deron Williams wore neon sneakers. There was a short, yet touching pre-game video tribute. This was a night where winning seemed like the only option. But the Nets folded once again. Why does this keep happening? Why can’t this team get over the hump?jack sad

“Because we’re not good enough,” Lionel Hollins matter-of-factly told reporters. “You have to be good enough to win multiple games […] You’ve got to be a good team. We’re struggling to be that right now. We’re trying to be. We’re working at it. We’ve made progress, but we’re not there yet.”

The Nets were sloppy, particularly in the early going of this one. They committed 17 turnovers (Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Jack accounted for eight of them), Joe Johnson was the only Net who could get it together from long range (Johnson was 50 percent from deep, the rest of the team was a combined 4-for-20), and the end result was a sub-40 percent night from the field and a loss to a team that just flat out didn’t have a ton of talent on the floor, but beat the Nets anyway.

“I would agree,” Johnson said when asked about Hollins’ assessment of his club. “I just think we’re only helping each other sometimes on defense, night-in and night-out, and it hurts us. Our pick-and-roll defense was pretty good, but we gave up a few easy baskets tonight, and we have to do better.”

The Nets are now 5-7 on their home floor and their whole “take one step forward, and two steps back” act is wearing thin. With the Nets due to make their first visit to Air Canada Centre since their Game 7 win in the first round of last year’s playoffs, they need to find a proverbial ace up their sleeve. Because a loss to the 19-6 Raptors, which — let’s face it — is the most likely outcome, would just reaffirm what we’re all starting to realize: this team just isn’t very good.

Game Recap: Heat 95 — Nets 91

Recap: Miami held on after a 55-point first half and a late Nets’ rally to win at the Barclays Center.

Need to Know: The Heat’s 55 first-half points were the most allowed at home by the Nets this season; the Nets’ 12 first-half turnovers were the most committed in any half this season.

After the game, coach Lionel Hollins bemoaned the fact the Nets only scored once on 11 offensive rebounds.

The Nets’ Sergey Karasev, who fell hard on his left side near the end of the first half, left in the fourth quarter and did not return.

The Heat were without Chris Bosh (left calf). Dwyane Wade (28 points, five rebounds, four assists) played despite an illness.

Nets players and fans paid tribute to superfan Jeffrey Vanchiro, who died Sunday. Players wore black t-shirts with neon letters and numbers to honor Vanchiro, better known as Jeffrey Gamblero. Deron Williams wore neon green sneakers in the game.

The Nets have not won three in a row since last April. The Heat have just three wins in nine games so far this month, all three on the road.

Joe Johnson had 16 points. Before Tuesday, he was averaging 12.5 points at home this season compared to 19.1 points on the road. He had failed to score in double figures in three of his previous six in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic leads all NBA rookies with 30 three-pointers made this season, while Miami’s Shabazz Napier, who has made the third-most with 24. Napier returned to the Heat after a brief trip to the D-League.

Links: AP recap | Box Score

What’s next: The Nets visit Toronto Wednesday night at 8 p.m., then travel to Cleveland to face the Cavs Friday at 7:30 p.m.


An indoor rain delay? Nets game delayed due to leaky roof

The Nets game against Miami pm Tuesday mogjt was delayed 31 minutes in the first quarter by a leak in the Barclays Center roof.

The team said the leak was related to the construction of a new ‘green’ roof.

“I didn’t even know it was raining outside,” said Joe Johnson, who scored 16 points for the Nets. “I was like `How the hell we got a leak if it ain’t raining.'”