BROOKLYN - Well, no one said it was going to be easy.
If the Toronto Raptors are to get out of the first round it’s going to take them seven games.
They might have done it in six if they had actually shown up for the first two quarters Friday in Brooklyn against the Nets.
But off that first half, short of DeMar DeRozan keeping them in the game with a variety of off-balance and contested jumpers, none of the Raptors could be remotely happy with their efforts.
Defensively the entire Raptors roster was AWOL for most of the first half as the Nets charged out to a 60-point first half and took a 19-point lead heading into the third quarter.
The Raps made a couple of stabs at a run, cutting the lead to 16 after it had grown to 26 on one occasion Toronto got it down to 10 late in regulation but couldn’t get closer, eventually losing this one 97-83 .
The sting of a $25,000 fine to Nets head coach Jason Kidd earlier in the day for publicly calling out the referees lessened significantly as his players definitely got the benefit of the whistle in the first half.