Brooklyn Nets Toronto Raptors
(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Brooklyn Nets lost in heartbreaking form, as Raptors’ superstar Kawhi Leonard banked in a game-winning shot.

Matt Brooks

  • Brooklyn Nets 125 (29-29)
  • Toronto Raptors 127 (42-16)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

For the first time since Jan. 16, the Brooklyn Nets have a .500 record.

The Brooklyn Nets matched up against a fierce Toronto Raptors team with the second-best record in the league. To make matters even tougher, Toronto has been outstanding on their home floor with a 23-5 record.

For the first half of the game, Brooklyn was lead by its bearded marksman, Joe Harris, who hit seven total threes (a career-high!).

In response, Toronto tightened up its defense in the second half to the point where Harris was unable to get off even one additional three-pointer.

In his place stepped Allen Crabbe who picked up the slack for Brooklyn’s offense. Crabbe sank six of his 10 total threes including this heat-seeking missile from the corner.

Most impressive of all was Brooklyn’s All-Star, D’Angelo Russell. Although he had a rough shooting night from deep (2-of-7), Russell was in his groove against this eighth-ranked Toronto defense.

D-Lo looked like a different player against the Raptors, sinking a multitude of creative shots around the rim. D’Angelo finished with a team-high 28 points on the night, but more significantly, dished out a career-high 14 assists.

Caris LeVert showed some rust in Monday’s game, finishing with six points on 3-of-11 shooting as well as five turnovers. However, it was encouraging to see him play at game-speed given the severity of November’s injury.

Most importantly, LeVert was one of the five Brooklyn players on the court in the last three minutes of the game; a promising sight to see for Nets fans. Clearly, Atkinson has faith in LeVert’s ability to recover, so expect 20-point outbursts shortly.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn, Toronto looked as elite as advertised. Pascal Siakam was an explosive energizer, who wreaked havoc in transition.

Newcomer (via trade), Marc Gasol, was also electric for Toronto. Gasol finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting in only 22 minutes of play. Gasol bullied Nets’ center, Jarrett Allen, all night long and stretched the Fro beyond his limits with his outside shooting.

And of course, Raptors superstar and MVP candidate, Kawhi Leonard, was fantastic. Kawhi finished with 30 points along with the most important bucket of the game: a 14-foot, game-winning bank-shot that lifted Toronto to victory.

After Monday’s loss, the Brooklyn Nets have dropped four of their last five games. They will look to recover against the bottom-feeding Cleveland Cavaliers when the two teams face off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

An NBA fanatic who specializes in the advanced analytics of the game. I cover the Brooklyn Nets here in the city. Follow me on Twitter for semi-witty basketball tweets. @MattBrooksNBA