History, tonight in Brooklyn, New York, as the Raptors will go down as the first team to take on the Brooklyn Nets. It wasn’t scheduled to be this way but Hurricane Sandy made a lot of changes to life far worse than this one. The Raptors, from the sports perspective, get dealt with a more challenging assignment that was already going be a tough one.
Deron Williams scores the first official bucket at the Barclay’s Center. After that it was DeRozan answering with a bucket and later he would get a three? Are you kidding me? Raptors on a 7-0 run that came to an end on a Lopez dunk and Jonas foul early. Makes the free throw and it is 7-5 Raptors. Raptors no slow start tonight they clearly had no fear of the Brooklyn Knight instantly one of the worse mascots in pro sports. Raptors had an 11-6 lead. Nets looked nervous and the Raptors looked energized. The one guy getting it done for Brooklyn was Lopez taking advantage of Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas. But Kyle Lowry with a three in your eye gives the Raptors a 16-10 lead. DeRozan tried another three not wise and Joe Johnson his man shows him on the other end how it is done making it 16-13.
DeRozan gets back to what he does with a drive to the hoop and draws contact the Raptors a surprising 19-13 lead with half the first quarter to play. Raptors were doing a good job maintaining the lead, but the Nets made a run to get the lead to just 2 with just over 3:30 to play in quarter. Kyle Lowry for three and he make it as he has 11 in quarter and is 3-3 from behind the arc. Honestly we have seen less than 5 quarters of Kyle Lowry but damn as Ron Simmons would say in WWE. Casey added Calderon to the fray with Lowry and Raptors build back an 8 point advantage. Make that a ten point advantage with the score 33-23 with less than a minute to play in the first. Raptors would have a surprising 35-27 lead raining on Jay-Z’s party.
Nets would get a good start to the second and again pull back to just two points down with Lowry on the bench. Raptors were in danger of giving up the lead up just 37-36 and turned over the ball. Raptors were 1-7 in the second after shooting lights out in the first. Dominic McGuire seeing some time and Raptors get a stop and hold the lead for now. Brooks would get the Nets to even at 38 and Jonas would come in for Amir Johnson picking up his second foul. Reggie Evans got a defensive board and then an offensive board and a goaltending call on the Raptors and Reggie Evans gets the basket to give his new team the lead 40-38.
Ed Davis ties it back at 40 with a jumper. A Raptors turnover turns into an easy basket for C.J Watson. The game had changed to a much slower half court style game in the second quarter. Teams were trading scores tied at 46. Another turnover and Watson the cause and the conversion gave the Nets a 48-46 advantage. A terrible pass by Landry Fields gives the Nets an easy steal and bucket to make it 51-48 Nets. Another former Raptor Kris Humphries gave the Nets a 5 point advantage making the score 53-48. More turnovers there have been 8 in the second and most ending in easy lay-ups and dunks as this latest one did with the Nets now up by 7 with likely time for one more possession for the Raptors. Lowry makes a bucket and the Nets answer with a buzzer three from Watson makes it 60-52 at the half.
Nets start the third and make the lead 10 which was at one time the Raptors lead in this game. Jonas picks up his third foul early in the third quarter. Lopez went right at Jonas and he couldn’t do much about it with the 3 fouls and that kept the lead at 10 with the score 66-56. Dwane Casey saw his team down a dozen with 8:41 left in the third and that was time to call for a time out and try and fix this mess. Nets had 40 points in paint already in this one.
The entire pace of this game had slowed to a half court battle and it was to the Nets advantage. Which had grown to 14 points on Deron Williams three with score 73-59. Raptors would creep back to single digits on Bargnani 3 to make it 75-66 mid way through the third quarter. You know this rarely happens when it shocks you out of a daze. Andrea Bargnani the offensive rebound and the score. Shocking but true this did happen. Raptors were back to single digits down 79-70 with 3:00 to play in third.
Maybe a sign of desperation as the Raptors go with Lucas and Lowry on the floor. But you know what it worked as Raptors quickly got the game to a 5 point affair 79-74. Raptors had some how put together a 19-9 run to make this a 4 point game. Nets would take a six point lead to the fourth 84-78.
Raptors were slowly showing a defensive pulse in this game. Ed Davis was playing a big role as the Raptors got the lead down to three with the score 84-81. Kyle Lowy goes down as Blatche tried to run over him. But Lowry like his mentor Alvin Williams shakes it off remains in the game. Then sets up Davis for an easy dunk and this was a one point basketball game.
Nets would respond with a couple baskets to make it a 5 point lead and wake up the crowd in Brooklyn a little which had been pretty quiet most of the night. Ed Davis was having a night so far and if Raptors comeback in this he kept them in it. Lowry a long two makes it a three point game. Brooks and Calderon trade baskets the first of the night for Jose.
Final five minutes to come with the Nets up 92-89 in another close one for the Raptors. DeRozan would make it a two point game with under 3 to play. Lowry gets a rebound and a chance to tie but Bargnani misses a wide open mid-range jumper. Nets would score and than an empty trip and Aaron Gray foul on Gerald Wallace. He made 1 of 2 at the line to make it a five point lead.
Lowry a big three makes it a two point game again. Lopez would drive through Bargnani for the hoop and the foul on DeRozan. He makes the and one to make the lead five again. Crowd back into giving a Bronx cheer in Brooklyn to Kyle Lowry. It was Kyle Lowry doing everything he could to will the Raptors to win this one. Lowry was down again but he would get up and Gerald Wallace would not. The score was 101-95 Nets with just 27.7 to play. The foul on the play would send Lowry to the line for two. Raptors kept fighting but looked to be fighting a losing battle despite an Anderson three to make it a three point game with just 22 seconds left.
Williams was fouled intentionally and made both to make it 105-100. Raptors kept knocking on the door but could not walk through it and lose this one 107-100 in the first ever game with the Brooklyn Nets.
Kyle Lowry was Alvin Williams like tonight and DeMar DeRozan looked much better with 25 points to go with Lowry’s 29 but it was not enough.