Nets hope to bounce back against Raptors
(Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets won't have long to recover from their heartbreaking loss to the New York Knicks as they head north to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
The Nets fell to the Knicks, 100-97, on Tuesday night at the Barclays Center when Jason Kidd drained a late 3-pointer, which proved to be enough for the victory.
Kidd got fouled on the play and missed the free-throw. The Nets got a decent look at the tie from Gerald Wallace, who missed, then Deron Williams had a open opportunity, but it was too hard.
The loss on Tuesday was Brooklyn's fifth in a row and this was a tough one to swallow. The Nets had a 17-point lead in the first quarter, but the Knicks were better late.
Brook Lopez missed all five games during this slide and it was announced the team's leading scorer at 18.5 ppg won't even need his passport. Lopez didn't travel with the team to Toronto.
The biggest problem the Nets have endured this season has been the sub-par play of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the best backcourt in the league according to most.
Williams had 18 points and 10 assists against the Knicks and is not happy with his level of play.
"I don't feel like I've had a good game yet this season," admitted Williams. "To me, 18 and 10 still isn't a good game for me. That's an average game. I want to get back to dominating games. I'm trying to find a rhythm out there, it's just not happening the way I'd like it to, for whatever reason."
The Raptors came home from a winless five-game western trip. They fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 92-74, on Monday night and the Raptors have lost 11 of their last 12.
The Raptors have 11 of their next 15 at Air Canada Centre, where they are 3-4. Toronto and Denver have played the most road games this season with 15.
The loss in Portland was a disaster on a few levels.
Andrea Bargnani fell awkwardly after a dunk in the first quarter and did not return. X-rays on his elbow were negative and his status Wednesday night is questionable.
Point guard Kyle Lowry also fell against the Blazers and didn't play in the second half.
Then, Amir Johnson got ejected after a bizarre exchange with referee David Jones. With 5:01 left in the third quarter, Johnson went to grab the ball after a Portland free throw and got into a tug-of-war with Jones for the ball. Jones tossed Johnson, who then threw his mouthpiece at Jones. Johnson was suspended for one game, so he will be out Wednesday night.
"I don't know what happened with Amir. He kind of lost his mind there for a little bit," said head coach Dwane Casey. "I told him we can't have that on a night where we're short-handed and we're in a situation where we're scrambling. We just gotta have more discipline than that."
The Nets have won three of the last five against the Raptors, including a 107-100 victory on Nov. 3 in Brooklyn.