NETS GAMENIGHT: #Nets @ #Raptors

Updated: April 14, 2013

Brooklyn Nets (47-32) @ Toronto Raptors (31-48)

Air Canada Centre 3:30

TV: YES – RADIO: Bloomberg 1130AM

The Brooklyn Nets traveled to Canada after their second straight impressive road win on Friday night over the Indiana Pacers 117-109 which gave them the season sweep (3-0) over Indiana.  The Nets are 5-1 in April and are playing some of their best basketball of the year at just the right time.  The way they dismantled the Celtics in Boston 101-93, the game was worse than the score indicated in the end, and then two nights later did the same to the current three-seeded Pacers on their home court to sweep the series.

The Nets play in Indiana was inspiring knowing they got a huge second quarter from their leader, Deron Williams, with 20 points alone.  Williams helped the Nets to a 24 point lead early third quarter only to see it all but disappear and the Pacers took the lead in the fourth 101-99.  The Nets Big 3 took the game over from the beginning and wouldn’t let the Nets lose this one.  Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson each had 24 points to go with Williams 33 points and 14 assists.  The Big 3 ended with 81 points, 18 assists and 14 rebounds to grab the victory and inch closer to the three seed.

Brooklyn is two games behind the Pacers and holds the tiebreaker by sweeping the Pacers. If the Nets win their final three games – a very possible scenario, they host Washington and Detroit to finish out the regular season and it would force Indiana to win two of its last three just to keep the third seed and not fall behind Brooklyn.

[blockquote]“I still want to play,” said Williams, “We can still get the third seed. We have to hope for Indiana to lose some games, but it’s still possible. I think we have a good thing going right now, and we’re just getting Joe back [healthy], and hopefully we’ll get Gerald back soon.  We need to be going full tilt going into the playoffs.”[/blockquote]

The Raptors have been playing better the second half of the season and just beat the Chicago Bulls in a home and home to dash the Bulls hopes of moving up to the four seed in the East.  They have a team that they can now build around since the acquisition of Rudy Gay and the growth of Amir Johnson this season.  The one player that is finally playing better may not play today, Jonas Valanciunas, and will create matchup problems for Brooklyn.  The Raptors are 5-5 in their last 10 gamed and would love to hurt the Nets seeding chances by grabbing a win at home this afternoon.  The streaks throughout the year have hurt Toronto where they have had at least 5 four-game losing streaks and consistency is the key for this young team.

The Nets have a lot on the line with the three seed in sight so the today’s game in Canada is a big one regardless of the opponent.


11/03 – TOR 100 @ BKN 107

12/12 – BKN 94 @ TOR 88

01/15 – TOR 106 @ BKN 113

04/14 – BKN @ TOR

MATCHUP OF THE GAME: Deron Williams vs Kyle Lowry

Deron Williams is the Eastern Conference assists leader for the month of April to date.  Williams leads all players in the East averaging 9.0 assists through six games this month and is scoring a a scorching rate.  Since April began D-Will has been averaging 26.5 points, 9.0 assists, 52.5 percent shooting, 41.7 percent 3-point shooting and leading the Nets to a 5-1 record and big wins.  When he is playing at the level he is right now there is no better point guard in the league and even with being a bit banged up from the Indiana game he is ready to try and lead the Nets to the three seed.

Kyle Lowry ranks fourth averaging 8.7 assist in April.  Lowry posted double-digit assists in consecutive games and recorded a season-high 13 assists on Apr. 3 vs. Washington.  Lowry averages 12 points and 6.3 assists during the year and is on a roll with his increased minutes and playing great ball.  He has a few more options now with Rudy Gay on the team and DeMar Derozan playing better as of late.  Lowry will need to bring his best today to slow down D-Will and keep the Nets from sweeping the series this year.

STAT FOR TONIGHT: Brooklyn has swept eight opponents in the season series this year with the potential to sweep two more (Toronto and Detroit) if they win today and again the last game of the year.


Gerald Wallace (leg contusion ) is OUT


Andrea Bargnani – (Avulsion sprain, right elbow) is OUT
Terrence Ross – (Sprained left ankle) is Day-to-Day
Jonas Valanciunas – (Flexion extension, neck) is Day-to-Day
Landry Fields – (Strep throat) is Day-to-Day

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