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Toronto Raptors Defeat Brooklyn Nets in OT (Minus Kyle Lowry)

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez and point guard Jarrett Jack Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez and point guard Jarrett Jack

Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack Gave it Their All

With the NBA All-Star Weekend break approaching, the Brooklyn Nets will this year play hosts to the Friday and Saturday NBA All-Star events. Tonight, the Nets welcomed a team boasting a first-time NBA All-Star starter.

The Toronto Raptors, first in the Atlantic division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference standings (31-15), along with the entire league were informed last Thursday that their floor general, Kyle Lowry will play on Sunday, earning his first career All-Star selection.

After being snubbed from last year's game, Lowry's exploits on the hardwood this year could no longer go un-noticed. He is averaging 19.4 points, 7.4 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

Fortunately for the Raptors, Lowry was hardly needed as his amigos did all the rest, in extra time.

Behind the strong production of the starters, not named Lowry, and the bench, the Toronto Raptors handed the Nets their fourth-straight loss, in overtime, 127-122.

The Nets are now ten games under .500 at (18-28) while the Raptors improved to (32-15).

Don't always expect the All-Stars to exhibit All-Star performances, they do have teammates that can also play, I mean this is the NBA right?

Six players scored in double-figures for the Raptors, with Demar Derozan leading the team in scoring with 26 points, followed by sixth man, Lou Williams contributing 25 points.

Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas of the Raptors front-court, chipped in 24 and 14 respectively, and Patrick Patterson chose his spots wisely, scraping up 12 points of his own.

Oh yea, Lowry, the All-Star struggled all night long shooting 4-17 from the field for 10 points, affecting the game in other ways with 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.

As for the home-team, the Brooklyn fans in attendance tonight, despite the loss should be proud of the effort the Nets exhibited on a chilly Friday night.

The Nets battled back from extensive deficits all-game long, which included a 19-2 run in the 4th quarter, led by Jarrett Jack, who scored eight of his team-high 35 points in the final quarter.

However, it wasn't enough.

Brook Lopez stepped up with an offensive explosion tonight albeit missing a potential game-winner in the 4th quarter, scoring an identical 35 points, like his teammate, Jack.

"More than execution, they made shots," said Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins during his post-game press-conference.

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Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins talking with the media. Photo Credit: What's The 411 Networks

"I mean, Jarrett had a lot of big plays, got to the basket, got to the free throw line. Brook...actually got to the basket a few times, and then he made some shots outside, but he just got to the basket on drives."

However, it wasn't enough.

Extra Time Extends the Inevitable for the Nets

This was the type of game that if the Nets were unable to secure the win within the league standard of four quarters, forget about trying to find the win in overtime.

It just wasn't going to happen.

With each basket the Nets scored, the Raptors had an answer.

With 2:57 left in OT, a Lopez hook shot assisted by Jack which, at the time gave the Nets a 117-116 lead, was offset by a Derozan pull-up jump-shot, taking the lead, 118-117.

Shortly after, Jack drove the lane and connected on a floater with 56.6 seconds remaining in OT, tying the game at 122 all, in which Amir Johnson executed a put-back layup, off of a Derozan missed layup, giving the Raptors the go-ahead bucket.

The Raptors led 124-122, which proved to be the deciding play, as they never looked back, ending the Nets threat altogether.

The Nets would not be able to come from behind and extend the resiliency they have shown all night long.

There's only so much Jack and Lopez can do within the confines of team basketball until shots that were once falling ceased.

"Jack and Brook played unbelievably," said Mason Plumlee post-game.

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Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee. Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

"They really willed us and kept us in the game."

As far as statistical performances go, it was one of the best performances I have seen from both Brook and Jack, but tonight's loss validated what we should all realize regarding the makeup of this Nets team.

They just aren't good enough.

But there's a reason why the Raptors were able to win this game and it has nothing to do with the box score.

Good teams find a way to win tough games, and tonight, Derozan played a significant part in orchestrating the final results benefiting the Raptors with timely shots in desperation.

"Every day is extra motivation, honestly," Derozan said in the opposing locker-room post-game.

"I just try to pick up the slack sometimes when we may need to get it going or when we may need something."

Tonight's loss was the second game in a row the Nets legitimately challenged a superior being and failed to deliver the goods; just two days ago, it was a loss to the Atlanta Hawks, 113-102.

"We just played the two top teams in the Eastern Conference back-to-back and gave them both good games," said Lopez post-game.

"I think we just need to look at what we did well tonight and what we didn't do right and continue to get better."

How much better can the Nets realistically be when they can't get past the best teams in the East?

Coming Down the Pipe

Over the Next 5-games, the Nets will face the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Toronto Raptors (again this time in Toronto), the New York Knicks, Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks.

This could get ugly or is it too late?

After the way the Nets lost tonight, moral victories have become a necessity for a team that can't get out of its own way.