Season Series: Raptors 2-1
The Toronto Raptors are in Brooklyn to face the Nets while being nine games above .500 for the first time since the 2006-2007 season thanks to a road win in Minnesota on Sunday night.
Currently holding a four-game lead on the Nets, Toronto will look to take another step toward winning the Atlantic Division. They’ll do so without the services of Patrick Patterson, who was ruled out for the next 7-10 days because of a right ulnar collateral sprain.
In Toronto’s dramatic 104-103 victory against the Nets at the end of January, it was Patterson who stole a Deron Williams inbounds pass and drilled a jumper with six seconds on the clock to escape with a tough road win.
While the team will be without Patterson, they will have DeMar DeRozan in uniform this time around. During January’s victory, DeRozan missed the game with a foot/ankle sprain.
What To Watch
Kyle Lowry vs Deron Williams: In Toronto’s last trip to Brooklyn, Kyle Lowry was huge. Aware his team would need him to step up in the absence of DeRozan, Lowry dropped a 31-point, five-rebound, seven-assist, five-steal night on the Nets. Williams scored nine points and added 11 assists.
Lowry is coming off of a triple-double performance against the Timberwolves on Sunday night in Minnesota. Williams will be looking to avenge January’s loss, and the late turnover that led to Toronto’s victory.
The status of Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko: Although Brooklyn picked up a win against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, they lost Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko to injury. Pierce was out with a sore shoulder less than two minutes into the game after a collision with Kings forward Jason Thompson. Kirilenko sprained his ankle in the first quarter. Both are currently listed as day-to-day.
Toronto’s bench play: With Patterson out, the Raptors will need other reserves to step up. Patterson was averaging more than 23 minutes per game and has been their top reserve. Steve Novak came in against the Timberwolves and scored 15 points on 5-for-6 field goals in 20 minutes.
– “Fifteen strong, that’s what we do. Steve was 5-for-6, Chuck defensively strips and rebounds, everyone is always prepared to play and even Landry came in for a couple of seconds which is always big for our team. Everyone is always ready to play, it doesn’t matter when they are called, they go out there and play.” – Lowry on the play of Toronto’s reserves after Sunday’s victory against Minnesota
– “One thing about our team is that we are definitely resilient and some guys, you know Steve hasn’t played in a couple days and he came in big for us. That’s our team, guys always willing and ready to step in when a guy’s down.” – DeRozan on the depth of this team
– “This is their team…Kyle Lowry and DeMar, production-wise over the last couple weeks have been huge again. We have to have people step up. Novak stepped up with his threes in replace for Patrick (Patterson).” – Dwane Casey on his team’s leadership
Raptors: Kyle Lowry (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Terrence Ross (F), Amir Johnson (F), Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Nets: Deron Williams (G), Shaun Livingston (G), Joe Johnson (G/F), Paul Pierce (F), Mason Plumlee (C)
Raptors: Patrick Patterson – right ulnar collateral sprain (out)
Nets: Kevin Garnett – back spasms (game-time decision), Andrei Kirilenko – sprained right ankle (game-time decision) and Paul Pierce – right shoulder (game-time decision), Brook Lopez – fractured right foot (out)
By The Numbers: Raptors vs. Nets
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Last Time They Met: Raptors 104, Nets 103- Jan. 27th, 2014