• Isaac Brendel

Nets Notes: Nets defeat Raptors on the road, clinch playoff berth


photo credit: Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images


The Brooklyn Nets are officially NBA postseason bound, folks! This comes as no surprise; however, it still is something to be happy about. The work and grind is just beginning, yet the excitement and thrills this team has already brought are second to none.


Tuesday night in Tampa Bay was just one milestone in what should be a miraculous run by Steve Nash and his squad. Despite a losing record, the Toronto Raptors are no fun to play against despite their record. Taking on Toronto in Tampa, the Nets understood the task at hand.


The first quarter was a tightly contested one that resulted in Toronto holding the lead (28-26) through the first twelve minutes of ball.


Brooklyn was noticeably the better team in the second quarter, posting 30 points compared to Toronto’s 24. Leading 56-52 at halftime, it was, of course, known that the Raptors wouldn’t go out quietly.


The home team had a big start to the second half, outscoring the Nets 31-24 in the third quarter. With the game up for grabs in the fourth and final quarter, Brooklyn certainly didn’t disappoint.


Locking it down defensively and hitting the shots they had to; the Nets surged in the final twelve. They posted 36 fourth-quarter points, easily besting Toronto’s 20. They won the game 116-103.


Getting the one seed is important, and the Nets look to be on track to do so. It’s hard to imagine the team getting this hot when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden have yet to even play ten games together. The team is also supposed to have Spencer Dinwiddie (ACL injury) back for the playoffs. According to multiple sources and Dinwiddie himself, he is on track for a smooth and safe recovery that is going much quicker than expected. Dinwiddie suffered his injury in the third game of the season and followed it up with surgery. Are we nervous yet, Philly fans?


On Tuesday night, the clear Brooklyn MVP was Jeff Green, who posted 22 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist. Durant had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Irving had 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Joe Harris put up 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists. Landry Shamet recorded 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. Blake Griffin had himself another solid night with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist. Tyler Johnson and Mike James wouldn’t go unnoticed either. In 27 minutes, Johnson had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. James had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 8 assists in 21 minutes of play.


When talking about the team, organization, and clinching a playoff birth, Durant said, “{I’m} very proud of everyone top to bottom.” KD also talked about the adversity this Nets squad has faced between COVID-19 protocols and injuries. “We have our eyes on bigger things, but it’s a nice first step to clinch a berth,” Nash said of his team and the journey that has just begun after the game.


The Nets appeared to be all smiles post-game, and rightfully so. They travel to Indiana to take on beloved former teammate Caris LeVert and the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. Tip-off from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse is set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.