Photo Credit: Toronto Raptors/Twitter
The Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-103 on Wednesday night in Tampa, stretching their winning streak to four games.
Brooklyn started off strong, coming off a high-scoring win against the Pelicans just 24 hours earlier. They found open shooters with good ball movement, sinking three-pointers with ease. The Raptors’ early shooting struggles quickly dissipated, making 38.3 percent of their threes as they took control of the game and exposed a tired Nets rotation.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors in scoring with 27 points on 52.6 percent shooting, also grabbing nine boards. OG Anunoby had a strong offensive showing, scoring 25 points and sinking four three-point field goals. Khem Birch shined as a starter, recording eight points, seven rebounds and a +14 plus/minus rating. Fan-favourite Freddie Gillespie brought the energy on defence, blocking five shots.
Kyrie Irving carried the Nets with 28 points on a solid 10-for-21 from the field. Guard Bruce Brown followed with 21 points and a stunning 14 rebounds. Joe Harris did what he does best, sinking four-of-five three-point attempts for 14 points.
The Raptors aimed to push the tempo all game, running the court after defensive stops and getting out in transition to expose the Nets’ tired legs. Toronto ended the night with 20 fast-break points, while Brooklyn only managed six.
Despite being outrebounded by two boards (50-48), the Raptors kept up with the Nets on the glass, likely due to Steve Nash’s decision to go small, with Blake Griffin starting at the five.
This win continues Toronto’s regular-season dominance over Brooklyn, as the Raptors have won 20 of the last 22 meetings between the two.
The Raptors’ starting lineup of Lowry, VanVleet, Anunoby, Siakam and Birch was the 28th different starting group used by Nick Nurse this year, tying a franchise-record from the team’s inaugural season in 1995-1996.
Chris Boucher, the only Raptor to appear in every game this season, left early in the fourth quarter with a left knee sprain.
Paul Watson Jr., Rodney Hood and Jalen Harris all missed the game with injuries.
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Tyler Johnson, Nicolas Claxton, Chris Chiozza and Spencer Dimwiddie sat out for the Nets.
Toronto will look for a fifth win in a row when they face the New York Knicks on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.