The NBA champions, Toronto Raptors, opened their title-defense quest with a routine win over the Brooklyn Nets, 134-110. The Canadian team showed confidence and cruelness throughout all 48 minutes, now allowing the Nets to catch a breath.
Nick Nurse’s team was up early on, reaching an 18-6 advantage following Pascal Siakam’s free throws with 6:02 left inside the first. That edge slowly increased as time went by, and at the end of the same period, the Raptors scored almost double than Brookly, 37-20.
At 7:18 in the second, Nurse’s team got away to +33, 68-55, when Fred VanVleet sunk a three-pointer. It was evident at that moment, that the No.7 seed in the East has nothing to hope for in this event.
Yet, with excellent Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who moved the Nets coming off the bench, the game saw some excitement. In the late phase of the third sequence, Brooklyn went down to an eight-point deficit, 90-82. Toronto responded, needing some time to finally break the rivals, who eventually suffered a pretty nasty defeat.
Fred VanVleet scored a game-high 30 point, having 11 assists, with excellent shooting from the field. FVV was 11-of-15 overall, 8-for-10 for three.
Serge Ibaka, who didn’t start the game, was superb once on the court, with 22 points, 7 boards, and three dimes. Siakam had another double-double with 18 buckets and 11 boars, while Kyle Lowry had another versatile game with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and six assists.
Marc Gasol delivered 13, OG Anynoby 12 and Terence Davis 11.
The Raptors' team defense on this possession 😮 pic.twitter.com/WPcaejfECV
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 17, 2020
Caris LeVert, the No.1 offensive option in Brooklyn, experienced what is like to face Toronto’s harsh defense. He was 5-for-14 for 15 points but compensated his poor scoring record with fantastic 15 assists and seven rebounds.
Joe Harris had a team-high with 19 buckets and six boards, Jarrett Allen notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Garrett Temple was 1-for-10 for three and had just 12 points. Luwawu-Cabarrot had 26 and 7 boards with six threes.
The Nets had just 15 free throws, hitting 11 of them, while on the other side, Toronto had more than twice as much 33, missing only one. The champs were also superb from downtown, making 22 of 44 attempts for three.
It is hard to believe that Nets might endanger Toronto, who is now 8-1 since coming to Orlando, while Nets seemed pretty lost today. Plus they have multiple injuries that made a negative impact on their game. The next contest is already this Wednesday, while Game 3 takes place on Friday.