NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Nets (15-21) at Toronto Raptors (17-17), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets haven't achieved much success on the road this season, but will put their season-high five-game winning streak to the test when they visit the Toronto Raptors Saturday at Air Canada Centre.
The Nets are just 5-12 outside of Brooklyn and made it five straight wins with Friday's impressive 104-95 double-overtime triumph versus the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat at Barclays Center.
Joe Johnson had 22 of his 32 points in the first quarter, Paul Pierce added 23 points and Shaun Livingston filled the stat sheet with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who made 46.5 percent of their shots and held on for the win despite superstar LeBron James finishing with 36 points.
Brooklyn and Miami both scored four points in the first overtime, then the hosts tallied 11 of the 13 points in the second OT session. The win gave Brooklyn a perfect 4-0 record on its homestand.
"We completed the homestand like we wanted to," Pierce said.
Now the Nets will visit the Raptors, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.
The Raptors have also been playing well of late. They halted a two-game losing streak on Wednesday, but won six of their last eight and eight of the previous 11.
Kyle Lowry scored 21 points with nine assists Wednesday and the Raptors used a dominant second half to record a 112-91 win over the struggling Detroit Pistons from Air Canada Centre.
DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points despite shooting a paltry 3-of-15 from the floor for Toronto. Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson both deposited double- doubles in the win. Valanciunas contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Johnson finished with 10 points and 11 boards.
Detroit owned a 54-50 lead at the break, but Toronto won the final 24 minutes by a 62-37 margin.
"We had our legs under us tonight," said Johnson. "We struggled early with our transition game and turnovers, but we played hard for 48 minutes. Coach (Dwane Casey) told us that this was a must win."
The Raptors lead the Atlantic Division and will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday to complete their short homestand.
The Nets beat the Raptors by two in Toronto on Nov. 26, but that came before the Rudy Gay trade. Brooklyn has won four of the last five matchups with Toronto and three of the previous five trips to Canada.
01/11 11:28:54 ET