It ended with the Toronto Raptors’ starters sitting on the bench and cheering, their work lengthy finished earlier than the ultimate buzzer on the Scotiabank Area on Friday evening.

It was a tidy win, an expert outing, a lopsided affair that afforded the workforce’s prime gamers some relaxation.

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates two of his team-high 20 points Friday. Eight Raptors scored in double figures.
Raptors ahead Kawhi Leonard celebrates two of his team-high 20 factors Friday. Eight Raptors scored in double figures.  (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

They’d finished their work early to energy Toronto to a 122-105 pasting of the Brooklyn Nets. Kawhi Leonard had 20 factors and 11 rebounds, Pascal Siakam 16 factors, Serge Ibaka 14. Kyle Lowry 4 factors and eight assists. Danny Inexperienced had eight factors and 4 assists. None performed greater than 27 minutes.

So there they sat, watching the deep bench guys mop up win No. 32 on the season, a comparatively stress-free evening for the workforce with the NBA’s most victories.

The sport turned when Toronto turned on the defence. The Nets made six three-pointers and scored 35 factors within the first quarter earlier than the Raptors buckled down and took management.

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“Our transition defence began out form of poor and we began displaying just a little bit extra size and deflections,” Nurse mentioned. “We received quite a lot of tip-outs and run-outs from primarily enjoying good defence. We began attending to the rim just a little bit extra, we began transferring the ball. I feel we ended up with 32 assists tonight, which is a giant quantity.”

Toronto led by 11 at halftime, and by 24 after three quarters. The fourth was principally a contest between backups seeking to impress the coaches.

It didn’t go too nicely for the Raptors who have been in that position when the Nets went on a 14-Zero run to get inside a manageable 13 factors with about 5 minutes left. However Toronto settled down with out having to place a starter again in and received going away.

D’Angelo Russell had 24 factors to guide the Nets.

  • Nonetheless purple scorching: The Raptors made 11 three-pointers within the recreation, giving them greater than 10 for the fourth straight recreation.
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For a workforce that was mired within the backside 4 of the league in three-point effectivity simply over per week in the past, it’s a stark turnaround.

“We predict we stick with it, you retain giving guys confidence, you take a look at the pictures and also you consider them fairly carefully and so they seem like they’re fairly good,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse mentioned earlier than the sport.

“You inform these guys to make ’em and preserve taking ’em, let’s be sure we’re taking the proper ones and most of ’em are the proper ones.”

  • Double the enjoyable: Eight Raptors scored in double figures, together with 5 reserves: OG Anunoby (on 5-of-6 capturing) and Norm Powell had 13 factors, Delon Wright had 12, and Greg Monroe and Fred VanVleet added 10 every,
  • Nurse is a fan: The Nets have been one of many hottest groups within the NBA heading into Friday’s recreation and had climbed to sixth place within the Jap Convention.
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Nurse appreciates what they’re doing.

“It’s an excellent workforce, man, 13-Four of their final 17 (earlier than Friday),” the coach mentioned. “Any person ought to discuss that. All people ought to discuss it, 13-Four of their final 17. I’ve been listening to about Boston’s 15-5, Boston’s 15-5; 13-4’s fairly good, too.”

  • No heat welcome: It’s been a season and a half since Nets ahead DeMarre Carroll performed for the Raptors and the criticisms he levelled on the group after his departure had some advantage. Nonetheless, there have been murmurs of booing each time he touched the ball within the first half Friday evening
  • Up subsequent: The street beckons with a uncommon Sunday matinee away recreation, 1 p.m. in Washington in opposition to the Wizards.

Doug Smith is a sports activities reporter based mostly in Toronto. Comply with him on Twitter: @smithraps

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