A pair of Atlantic Division teams take the court north of the border looking for a victory. The Brooklyn Nets are on the road as they make the trip to face the Toronto Raptors Monday night. Brooklyn comes in off a 125-106 home loss to the Bulls Friday night in their last game. Toronto edged the Knicks 104-99 on the road Saturday night in their previous contest. The Raptors lead the all-time regular season series 51-40. This season, the teams split two meetings with Toronto picking up a 122-105 home win in the last matchup on January 11.
Brooklyn Nets Try to Get Back on Track
Brooklyn lost for the fifth time in their last six games as they were dropped by the Bulls in their last game at home. The Nets entered Sunday sixth in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. Brooklyn trailed by five after the opening quarter, by seven at the half and by 13 after three quarters. The Nets could draw no closer than nine the rest of the way. Brooklyn shot 41.5 percent from the field, including 13 of 41 from three-point range, and was pounded 50-33 on the glass. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points and six assists in the loss.
The Nets are 17th in the league in scoring offense with 111.5 points per game. Brooklyn is 10th in the league on the glass by collecting 46.1 rebounds per game. The Nets are 18th in the league in assists with 23.7 dimes per contest. Brooklyn is 20th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 112 points a game. Caris LeVert is second the team with 17.9 points per game so far this season. Spencer Dinwiddie (17.2 points, five assists), Joe Harris (13.4 points), Jarrett Allen (11.2 points, 8.7 rebounds) and D’Angelo Russell (19.8 points, 6.5 assists) are all averaging in double figures for coach Kenny Atkinson. Rodions Kurucs, DeMarre Carroll (11.1 points), Allen Crabbe, Ed Davis, Jared Dudley, Shabazz Napier and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are all important pieces of the rotation for Brooklyn. The Nets are tied for 20th in the league by shooting 45 percent from the floor. Brooklyn is 5th in the league by sinking 12.3 triples per contest. The Nets are tied for 10th in the league in three-point shooting as they shoot 35.5 percent from long range. LeVert dislocated his foot and suffered moderate ligament damage against the Timberwolves November 12 and made his return against the Bulls on February 7. Dudley is out with a hamstring injury while Dinwiddie is out until likely early March after thumb surgery.
Toronto Raptors Looking to Close Gap on Eastern Conference Top Spot
Toronto won their fourth straight game as they took care of the Knicks, sending New York to their 16thconsecutive defeat. The Raptors entered Sunday second in the Eastern Conference: they trailed the Bucks by one game for the top spot while leading the Atlantic Division by five games over the 76ers. Toronto led by two after the opening quarter, by four at the half and by five after three quarters. The Raptors rode a pair of key 6-0 runs to ensure the victory. Toronto shot 38.4 percent from the field, including 14 of 35 from three-point range, and overcame a 57-47 disadvantage on the glass. Kyle Lowryled the Raptors with 22 points and five assists in the win.
The Raptors currently are 6th in the league by averaging 113.8 points per game. Toronto stands in the middle of the pack in the league on the glass, ranking 16th with 45.2 boards per game. The Raptors are 15th in the league in assists with 24.4 dimes a night. Toronto is 10th in scoring defense as they give up 108.2 points per game. Kawhi Leonard leads the team with 26.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry contributes 14.4 points plus 9.2 assists a night while Serge Ibaka (16 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Fred VanVleet (10.5 points, 4.6 assists) are solid contributors. Danny Green (9.8 points), Pascal Siakam (15.6 points, seven rebounds), Marc Gasol (15.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists), OG Anunoby and Norman Powell are all valuable pieces in the rotation for coach Nick Nurse. The Raptors are 11th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 46.8 percent from the field. Toronto is tied for 10th in the league by sinking 11.5 three pointers per game. The Raptors are tied for 22nd in the league in three-point shooting as they hit 34.6 percent from beyond the arc.
- Raptors are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win
- Nets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Nets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference foe