Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets - 4/22/14
Brooklyn Nets (44-38) at Toronto Raptors (48-34)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Raptors -4 -- Over/Under: 187 See the Latest Odds
The Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets lace it up for Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
With the Toronto Sun headlining the series as "the Raptors vs the Dinosaurs", the stage was set for Game 1 but unfortunately for the home team, it was actually the Nets who came out on top. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson led the way with 24 points each while Paul Pierce delivered nine of his 15 points in the final quarter to lead the Nets to a 94-87 victory. It wasn't the prettiest performance as the Nets shot just 42 percent from the field and just four of 24 from the three-point line, but they were able to stay in control by committing just eight turnovers while cashing in on the Raptors' turnovers.
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Meanwhile, the Raptors' fans had the Air Canada Centre absolutely roaring to start the game but the Raptors didn't start the game with much fluidity in their offense. In fact, Jonas Valanciunas was the only person who got things going early on, scoring all of the Raptors first eight points to finish with 17 points and 18 rebounds. Kyle Lowry heated up midway through the game and scored 22 points while Greivis Vasquez added 18 off the bench, but the Raptors really needed more from DeMar DeRozan who shot just three of 14 and Terrence Ross who had just three points. I expect a more settled performance from the Raptors tonight but they'll be kicking themselves that they let home-court advantage slip so easily.
In ATS trends, the Nets are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record and 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall, while the Raptors are 17-5-1 ATS in their last 23 games following a loss and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Head to head, the Home team is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings overall and the Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Toronto.
The Nets' veteran experience really shone through in Game 1 on Saturday, but I actually think that the Raptors will be so much better from their experience in Game 1 so I'm taking them to win, cover and level the series before hitting the road.