April 27th, 2014
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets Game 4 Recap
Final Score: Raptors 87 Nets 79
In a must win Game 4 for the young Toronto Raptors on the road, they were able to rise to the challenge and win their first playoff game on the road since 2001. The loss for the Nets evens the series up at two games a piece, and the home-court advantage switches back into the Raptors favor.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce
In the Game 4 loss for Brooklyn they did receive a strong performance from Paul Pierce, who led the team in scoring. In the low scoring game on Sunday night, Pierce was able to drop 22 points on a great nine of 14 shooting from the field. Pierce added five rebounds and two assists to his final line, but was one of the few Nets to have a good game in the disappointing home loss.
Besides Pierce the only other Nets player to turn in a good game was Mirza Teletovic, who had a strong game off the bench. Teletovic was second on the team in scoring with 12 points on five for nine shooting, shockingly none of which came from beyond the arc. Teletovic also added five rebounds, three of which were on the offensive end in a good 17 minutes of play.
Raptors Center Jonas Valanciunas has been a double-double machine in this season, but in Game 4, he was held to his worst game of the series, but noticeably only played 23 minutes. Valanciunas only had six points and six rebounds, far below what he has been doing to the Nets for the series in the first three games.
It was a tough night for most Nets on the offensive end starting with Deron Williams, who had a bad game in the loss. Williams finished with just 10 points on four for 12 shooting, as he went zero for five from beyond the arc, and turned the ball over five times. In his match-up against Kyle Lowry, Williams lost in Game 4 badly, as Lowry scored 22 points.
Joe Johnson also had a tough time getting going on Sunday, as the Raptors threw lots of double-teams at Johnson, which forced the ball out of his hands. Johnson finished with just seven points on two for seven shooting, in what was easily his worst game of the series thus far.
Amir Johnson had his second good game in the series, as he is emerging as an x-factor for the Raptors, as in both games he has scored in double-digits they have won. Johnson finished with 17 points on seven for 11 shooting with five rebounds. Johnson did hurt his knee which will certainly be something to keep an eye on before Game 5. DeMar DeRozan started off hot like the Raptors in Game 4, although he did struggle in the second half after starting the game seven of 10 from the field, but he still finished with a game-high 24 points
Excluding Teletovic, Brooklyn’s bench had a poor night scoring the basketball, as Andray Blatche and Alan Anderson combined to go a dreadful two for 11 from the field. Off the bench for the Raptors it was yet again another good game from Patrick Patterson, who early had a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
The experienced Nets missed a golden opportunity to take a 3-1 lead at home on Sunday, as the turnovers really piled up for Brooklyn. The turnover battle has been an advantage for the Nets in the first three games, but in Game 4 the Raptors only turned it over 10 times compared to the Nets 16, which was certainly a difference in Game 4.
Next up will be a few days of rest before a huge Game 5 with the series tied on Wednesday night in Toronto.