NBA Hoops

Kyrie Irving drops 29, Nets beat short-handed Raptors

Kyrie Irving drops 29, Nets beat short-handed Raptors

The Brooklyn Nets visited the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday and won 112-98. Brooklyn is now 9-10 going into the holiday break and lead the regular-season series with Toronto 2-0.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points (19 in the third quarter) and had three assists while Nic Claxton had 14 points and 12 rebounds. For Toronto, Gary Trent Jr. had 19 points and OG Anunoby scored 15 points.

The Nets did a much better job in this game than they did against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Against the Raptors, Brooklyn defended the three-point line much better and with better effort despite being out-rebounded 52-39 and turning the ball over 21 times.

In the end, the Nets pulled away in the third quarter behind Irving’s masterful performance and Toronto going ice-cold from the field. Here are the Nets’ player grades:

Durant played the most minutes of any Net and somehow only wound up with 10 shots. While he was efficient from the field, it would’ve been nice to see Durant be more aggressive attacking closeouts or trying to shoot over some of the Raptors. All in all, Durant had a solid all-around game in the win, but Durant should’ve been more involved.

Irving was able to get any shot he wanted against the short-handed Raptors. Irving used ball screens to get defenders on his hip so that he could finish at the rim or step back to take his deadly fadeaway. Irving struggled on defense in the early going, but he was engaged on defense come the second half.

Simmons did a good job of pushing the pace as Vaughn has asked him to do and Simmons pushing the pace allowed for shooters like Harris and O’Neale to spot up for wide open threes. Simmons had some trouble guarding guys like Thaddeus Young, but Simmons was excellent applying pressure on the perimeter guards like Gary Trent Jr. Simmons still has a tendency to commit unnecessary fouls and he’ll need to fix that if he’s able to be on the floor for the Nets down the stretch of big games.

O’Neale had a great night shooting the three-ball and his shooting allowed for the offense to flow beautifully. O’Neale hasn’t been the…

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