Attractive on paper, this poster between brooklyn and Toronto finally turned to the demonstration, in a one-sided match. Indeed, the net left absolutely no chance to Raptorsattacking them from the first minutes to immediately take the advantage, then to make it climb, climb and climb again…
On arrival, however, this gives a flattering final gap (114-105) for the Canadians, who took advantage of the last possessions to heal their differential. But the superiority of the teammates of Kyrie Irving (27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Kevin Durant (17 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) was indeed indisputable this night…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— A more than perfect first quarter for Brooklyn. 41 points scored against only 17 conceded, or a +24 on the scoreboard, 75% on shots and 86% at 3-pts, with 11 assists for a total of eight different scorers (out of nine possible). We can say that everything succeeded in the Nets in the first twelve minutes, capitals in the construction of their success. Guided by an incandescent Joe Harris and well supported by an omnipresent Royce O’Neale, leaving Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving lurking in the shadows, Jacque Vaughn’s players feasted collectively and it was just magnificent to watch.
— TJ Warren back, 673 days later… We hadn’t seen him in the NBA for almost two years, more precisely on December 29, 2020. Weighed down by injuries, the former Pacers player was finally able to play again last night and he was even quite good off the bench: 10 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. Author of a basket from his first shot, he delivered a very encouraging performance, demonstrating that his sense of scoring was still there and that he could establish himself as a formidable weapon for the Nets off the bench. We only ask to see more of it from him.
✅ The Brooklyn Collective. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant of course, but also Joe Harris (17 points), Nic Claxton (15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks), Royce O’Neale (11 points, 8 rebounds) or even the ghost TJ Warren. Without Ben Simmons, injured, this Nets team still has a good bench depth and, tonight, Jacque Vaughn must have appreciated what he saw from his players, on the same wavelength in defense and especially in attack. It was too much for Toronto, unable to come back to score after taking on water in the first quarter…
✅ Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. In the collective slump of the Raptors, especially in the first half, the Siakam / Anunoby tandem will have generally survived: 24 points and 7 rebounds for the interior, 21 points and 6 rebounds for the winger. It was certainly not enough to overthrow the very solid Nets throughout this game, but the gap would undoubtedly have been heavier, or the game definitely bent in the third quarter, if the two Toronto players hadn’t done their best to bring their people back into contact, all in aggressiveness.
⛔ Fred VanVleet. Interiors Christian Koloko and Chris Boucher also suffered last night, but we were entitled to expect more from the Raptors All-Star point guard, limited to 10 small points (and 6 assists) on 4/14 on shots (including 1 /7 to 3-pts). Not in rhythm, he did not know how to weigh as usual in attack, also struggling in defense, and he undoubtedly illustrated better than anyone this inability of Toronto to settle the sights at long distance (only 7/24 in total). Match to forget for him, therefore.
Brooklyn (13-11) : reception from Boston, on the night of Sunday to Monday (00:00).
Toronto (11-11) : back-to-back against Orlando, on the night of Saturday to Sunday (02:00).