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Nets falter late, hand Game 2 to Raptors on silver platter

After leading for pretty much the entire game, Brooklyn was unable to hold on to even the series against Toronto.

Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors celebrates a basket with teammate Kyle Lowry during the fourth quarter in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Brooklyn Nets during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 19, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets played about as good a game as they possibly could. Still, it wasn’t enough to hold on against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of their first-round series on Wednesday afternoon. The Raptors, who trailed pretty much all game, were able to come back for a 104-99 win over the Nets to take a 2-0 series lead.

The Nets trailed by 3 points with a chance to tie the game on a final possession. Instead, the Raptors forced a turnover by Garrett Temple and Norman Powell converted a slam on the other end to clinch the win. Powell stepped up big after a shaky Game 1, scoring 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting off the bench. Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 10 assists, while Kyle Lowry added 21 points for Toronto.

The Nets did a great job on the glass all game but defense was the issue late in the fourth. Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris each finished with 15 rebounds. Allen had a huge game with 14 points, 5 assists and 3 blocks on top of the cleaning the glass. Caris LeVert was held in check, shooting 5-of-22 from the field while only scoring 16 points. He still had 11 assists and the Nets really should have won despite his struggles.

The spread was -11 in favor of the Raptors for this game. Most of the bets were coming in on Brooklyn to cover, which they did pretty easily. The O/U was high after Game 1 saw a lot of scoring. This one was pretty tight and hit the UNDER by a wide margin at 203 compared to 226.5. This is what happens when both teams play defense, which could be a theme the rest of the way. We could also see the Nets cave in after this, so monitor the O/U line for Game 3. There should be value with the variance in outcomes.