Yet another comeback but Raptors coach upset

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan grabbing a loose ball in front of Brooklyn Nets centre Brook Lopez (left) and guard Wayne Ellington at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors won 104-99 after trailing by 16 points at half-time.
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan grabbing a loose ball in front of Brooklyn Nets centre Brook Lopez (left) and guard Wayne Ellington at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors won 104-99 after trailing by 16 points at half-time.PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO • For the 12th time this National Basketball Association (NBA) season, the Toronto Raptors erased a double-digit deficit to earn a victory, battling back from 16 points down on Tuesday to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 104-99.

It is not the way Raptors coach Dwane Casey wants his team playing basketball and he made his players aware at half-time when Toronto trailed 42-58.

"It shouldn't take me going in at half-time, jumping up and down and challenging them saying, 'Who do we want to be'?" he said.

"We came out in the second half and that's who we have to be, but we've got to start that at the beginning of the game."

DeMar DeRozan led the way with 25 points, while Kyle Lowry added 23 points and nine assists. Terrence Ross added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Patrick Patterson chipped in with 11 points.

"It was a good one, it was one we definitely needed and the way we came out in the second half definitely speaks volumes about how he came in and really got on us," said DeRozan of Casey's half-time message.

"We responded like we were supposed to."

The 16-point comeback is the second-largest of the season for the Raptors.

Toronto improved to 42-20 and are two games behind the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (44-18).

Brooklyn (18-46), second from bottom in the East, lost for the fourth time in five games. The Nets were led by Brook Lopez's game-high 35 points, seven blocks and five rebounds.

Lopez becomes the first player in the NBA this season to score 35-plus points and block five-plus shots in the same game.

"We did a great job defensively of being physical with them," he said of the second quarter where Brooklyn outscored Toronto 35-14. That 21-point advantage marked their biggest positive point differential in any quarter this season.

"We had all five guys in and we were rotating out, we had each other's backs.

"They obviously had a great third quarter, they made a run, but we responded. They hit some big shots."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'Yet another comeback but Raptors coach upset'. Print Edition | Subscribe