Nets vs Raptors: Kevin Durant forced to leave in 123-117 loss

The entire Nets vs Raptors matchup was a conundrum. Kevin Durant left the game in the third quarter, while the Nets couldn’t get over the hump in a 123-117 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 33 points. 

The main headlines for Nets vs Raptors

It was the first game for Durant against the Raptors since tearing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals. At the beginning of the Nets vs Raptors matchup, Durant was forced to come off the bench. It was the first time in over 867 games that Durant did not start a contest. 

Durant’s mystery night

  • Durant did not start due to COVID-19 contact tracing but he could come off the bench as a reserve. 
  • By the third quarter, it was found that an associate of Durant’s tested positive for the coronavirus. 
  • It was found Durant had been in close contact with the person. 
  • In the second half, Durant voiced his opinions about the situation on social media. 

Balanced scoring for Toronto in Nets vs Raptors

  • Along with Siakam’s 33 points, Kyle Lowry added 30 points and seven assists. 
  • Siakam added 11 rebounds. 
  • Norman Powell (18 points), Chris Boucher (17 points), and Fred VanVleet (11 points) added to the double-digit scoring frenzy. 

Nets rallied comes up short

  • The Nets were down 17 points in the second quarter but fought back to take a 70-69 lead in the third quarter. 
  • Brooklyn led 110-108 with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter, led by James Harden’s 11 fourth-quarter points. 
  • Harden finished with a double-double of 17 points and 12 assists. 

Nets vs Raptors game analysis & commentary

Bruce Brown finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes of the Nets vs Raptors matchup. Brown is going to be a big bench piece and is starting to come into his own as a reserve for the team. 

It’s big three or nothing

What did we learn when Durant went out of the game? He finished with only 19 minutes in the loss. The Nets can’t compete at a high level unless all three members are on the floor at the same time. The Nets are only going to contend for an NBA championship if Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving are on the floor together. The trade was a risk when the Nets depleted their depth. That was on display tonight. 

Nets stop VanVleet

The 11 points from VanVleet were a lot less than the 54 points he scored on Tuesday. The offensive output was the most ever scored by an undrafted player in NBA history. The Nets forced VanVleet to shoot 4-of-16 from the field; however, it still was not enough in the end. 

Looking ahead

The Nets dropped to 14-10 on the season. The team takes on the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers, on Saturday night. Durant did not make the trip to Philadelphia. 

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