The Nets had their chances in Game 2 against the Raptors, but missed opportunities more than anything are what will define this particular loss.
Toronto evened the first round playoff series at a game apiece with a 100-95 victory, but Brooklyn was in it until the final few possessions, which should give the Raptors pause in celebrating too excessively.
Paul Pierce was the Game 1 hero, scoring nine points down the stretch in all kinds of clutch situations to help the Nets pull out the victory. But he was dismal in this one offensively, picking up two early fouls which wrecked his team’s offensive rhythm, and finished with just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting in 25 minutes of action.
Pierce also launched a quick three with 16 seconds left with his team down four, when a quick two followed by an intentional foul (as the Nets had done on the previous possession) would have been a better choice in trying to extend the game while playing the percentages.
On the Raptors side, they got huge games from two players who were both invisible in Game 1. DeMar DeRozan was much more aggressive, and though he wasn’t all that efficient, he was impactful in finishing with a game-high 30 points. Amir Johnson did nothing statistically in Game 1, but ended up with 16 points and nine rebounds in this one.
Brooklyn has three guys who can take the game over offensively at times and none of them did so in Game 2 — yet, it was still anyone’s game with under a minute to play. This series feels more and more like it’s Brooklyn’s to lose, although the Raptors have enough talent to have something to say about that before the series is finished.