BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 27: Greivis Vasquez #21 of the Toronto Raptors goes up for the layup against the Brooklyn Nets during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors ignore injuries for ‘courageous’ win over Brooklyn Nets | National Post

The Raptors put together what was probably their second-most unlikely win in franchise history — behind only the Game 5 clincher in Madison Square Garden in 2001. It was the Raptors’ first post-season road win since May 2001, ending a 13-game losing streak. Lowry, who scored 22 points, was at the centre of it all. All year long, the Raptors have emulated their point guard’s scowling mentality, having practically convinced themselves that the league is either: a) against them; or b) does not know they exist. Maybe both. “I’m pretty sure a lot of people haven’t seen us play yet,” reserve forward Chuck Hayes said. “Having it be a [nationally televised game in the United States] game, they’ve seen different things. They’ve seen the fast-pace, high-scoring in the first quarter, and then they’ve seen a gut-it-out type of win in the third and fourth quarter.

Raptors ride Lowry’s heart, grit to inspirational road win: Arthur | Toronto Star

The Raptors had not won a playoff game on the road in 13 years, and for a long time it looked like they weren’t starting now. Their fast start had evaporated. Nobody could stop the bleeding. The casualty list included Kyle Lowry’s knee, Amir Johnson’s knee and ankle, Patrick Patterson’s knee, John Salmons’ back, Landry Fields’ back and Terrence Ross’s nerves. Nothing was going right. “It was pretty much, keep battling,” said Patterson. The Raptors were still tied going into the fourth quarter with their season more or less on the line, but it felt like it was sliding away. Lowry was in foul trouble, Johnson was in foul trouble, and they had scored 32 points in two quarters combined. We’d seen this movie before. But these aren’t the same old Raptors. Greivis Vasquez, cold all night, made plays. Patterson, one game after missing two critical free throws, made a huge three. Valanciunas hit a sky hook, sure, okay. DeMar DeRozan took two charges, and Johnson took one.And Lowry, again, was the beating heart of this team.

Raptors motivated by Lowry’s determination |

So shaky was his reputation that when Lowry emerged this season as the closest thing the Raptors have to a true franchise player – or at least a co-star alongside DeMar DeRozan – there was some concern inside the team and outside that this was Lowry on his best behaviour, a free-agent-to-be scrubbing his image to make sure he can maximize his return this summer. But as things went along and Lowry kept sacrificing his body – he led the NBA in charges taken – and kept playing with a level of ferocity that he’s been held out as a an example for MLSE’s hockey team to follow, it became more and more apparent: This guy is what fans want, someone who simply plays until there is no gas left in the tank. Sunday night was just another example.

Raptors even series with Game 4 victory in Brooklyn | Toronto Sun

“We had eight stops (in a row) at the end of the game and we were mixing it up,” said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, who said this was the proudest he’s been of his team all year. “Were on a mission … this team’s got a lot of pride, a lot of veteran players who have been there before.” Nets head coach Jason Kidd was left shaking his head at another fourth quarter letdown. “The last four minutes is usually where we feel very comfortable and we just got out of character,” Kidd said. “We didn’t score. We always thought in the last four minutes of the game that we can execute on both ends, offensively and defensively, and we didn’t.”

Raptors beat Nets to even series; heading back to Toronto | TSN

“(But) we’re on a mission, it’s a marathon,” the coach added. “We can’t get too excited about a win, can’t get too down about a loss. That’s what the playoffs are about.”

Series tied 2-2 as Nets fall to Raptors, 87-79 | New York Post

Playing on their home court and having a vast edge in experience, the Nets had a one point lead with five minutes remaining, with a chance to take a decisive 3-1 series lead firmly within their grasp. But instead of seizing the opportunity against a younger, inexperienced team, the Nets folded, failing to make a field goal in the final 6:12 and allowing the Raptors to score the final nine points of the game as Toronto emerged with an 87-79 win in front of a sellout crowd of 17,732 inside Barclays Center Sunday night. The series now shifts back to Toronto Wednesday knotted up at two and completely up for grabs. “We held the ball in our hands,” Deron Williams said, “and we dropped it.”

Raptors win over Nets defies all logic | Toronto Sun

In the kind of game we haven’t seen a lot of. In the kind of win that has defined this Dwane Casey team in a way few wins ever have. They won on a night when everything looked lost. They won without having a full team, a healthy team, while disappearing for two quarters offensively and still finding a way. “That’s our team, man.” said Lowry, who probably wasn’t well enough to play, who came out huge in the first quarter, who had foul trouble and vision trouble, doing what he has done in this breakout season for the point guard and his team. Finding a way to get by. Making a shot when it mattered most. Winning on a night when the story almost certainly seemed to be about courage and drive — and everything Toronto loves about its pro athletes — and still everything added up to defeat. Except the Raptors didn’t lose. They wouldn’t allow themselves.

Lewenberg: Raptors empty the tank in gutsy Game 4 victory | TSN

“Everybody has something on their body that definitely hurts,” said Johnson, who injured his knee in a failed attempt to draw a charge on the Nets’ Paul Pierce, “but we keep playing, we keep fighting. It’s not the time to hold back now. We’ve got to keep going.” The Raptors held Brooklyn without a field goal for the final six minutes, without a point for the last five and in doing so they showed more character than they had at any point in this series. “That’s just us, man,” DeMar DeRozan said after scoring a team-high 24 points in the Raptors’ scrappy 87-79 win on Sunday, tying their best-of-seven opening round series up at 2-2. “We’re definitely resilient, we’re not going to give up until the game’s over. We’re going to fight through.”

Lowry to Raptors: ‘Let’s be physical’ | Toronto Sun

For a good part of the series, a handful of players have been lamenting how much time they have between games. The younger Raptors in particular were a little stir crazy with all the extra time. But with Lowry, Patterson, Amir Johnson all hobbled to some degree and countless other injuries throughout the locker room, these next two days before Wednesday’s Game 5 will be huge. “It’s part of it,” Salmons said. “We just have to use thse next two days to get some treatment and go from there. Everybody is hurt right now.” … For those that didn’t catch it at home, Rihanna made it to Game 4 a little late. It could have been because she went back and put a bra on but there’s no way we could know that .

Raptors Rapid Recap: Raptors Steal Back Home Court With 87-79 Win | Raptors HQ

Kyle Lowry: Lowry was there when the Raptors needed him most. Limping badly all game, in foul trouble, the team coming apart at the seams, Lowry did most of the dirty work to drag this game into Toronto’s favour. He had 12 points in the second half (22 in total), along with 4 rebounds and a crucial steal on a Paul Pierce fast break with a minute left. Watching him will this team to victory on a bum knee will be an iconic image for me.

Raptors regain home court advantage with 87-79 victory in Brooklyn; Series tied 2-2 | NetsDaily

But, Toronto deserves the credit. They were the better team most of the night, and took game 4 in Brooklyn thanks to their gritty defensive game plan. The series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Toronto.

Nets, Raptors switch narratives, set up crucial Game 5 | The Brooklyn Game

Throughout the season, the Nets have leaned on their crunch-time scoring and ability to close games late. In the calendar year 2014, they went 16-8 in games defined as “close & late” by the NBA (within five points with under five minutes), fifth-best in the league, and an Eastern-Conference best 7-2 at home. Between Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams, they had a bevy of reliable weapons that could create a shot with the game on the line. But the final six minutes were akin to a performance piece of switched narratives: the Nets looked like the tense, inexperienced first-timers, and the Raptors the seasoned veterans with complete control. Brooklyn shot 0-6 in the final six minutes with four turnovers, three of them offensive fouls by veterans Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, and the Raptors turned a four-point deficit into an eight-point victory behind four field goals from four different players and four free throws.

Kyle Lowry’s hook serves as dagger for Nets | Newsday

The shot cemented the win and the win cemented the notion that this is going to be a long series. “We got guys who want to win as badly as [the Nets] want to win,” Lowry said of the series, which is tied at 2-2 and headed to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Nets’ veterans come up empty in horrible fourth quarter, let Raptors back into series | NY Daily News

They never were worse this series than in the final 12 minutes, when they simply had too many empty possessions while scoring all of 12 points, committing six turnovers and missing 14 of 17 shots. It seems almost impossible that a team with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce can’t do better than a point a minute, but Johnson and Williams went scoreless in the fourth. Williams played his worst game of the series and Toronto took Johnson completely out of the offense. The killer was that the Nets still had a shot to win this game and take a 3-1 series lead, but the two battle-tested players they brought in from Boston to get them through these close playoff games were the ones who committed the biggest turnovers of the night.

NBA Recap – Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets – Apr 27, 2014 |

“That’s just us, man,” DeRozan said. “We’re definitely resilient. We’re never going to give up until the game’s over.”

Banged-up Lowry wills Raptors to win over Nets | The Globe and Mail

“It hurts,” he said. “But ain’t nothing can stop me from playing.” However this playoff series ends, Lowry is in the midst of building a legend in Toronto, not as a tough guy by basketball standards, but as some sort of mythic force in the Bobby Baun sense.

Nets let it get away in baffling fourth-quarter letdown | Newsday

Give the Raptors credit for grit in winning a road playoff game for the first time since 2001 despite having several key players who were banged up and/or in foul trouble. But mostly give the Nets blame for a self-inflicted debacle that handed back home-court advantage to the Raptors, who will have three days to heal before Game 5 in Toronto.

Lucky Loonie Or Are The Raptors Just Getting Better? | Pro Bball Report

“We understand the situation that we are in,” Kyle Lowry said. “It is a stepping stone for us – getting our feet wet. This man (DeMar DeRozan) is becoming a superstar in front of everyone’s eyes. He is doing it on the defensive end and the offensive end. In the last 48 hours, we got better. We learned from the game on Friday, went to practice, got our little walk through on Saturday, came in tonight and won the game.”

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32 Responses to “Morning Coffee – Mon, Apr 28”

  1. Guest

    When the Raptors are up in the fourth and the Nets pull it out, the Nets’ skill and experience takes over.
    When the Nets are up in the fourth and we pull it out, the Nets are dropping the ball or giving it away.

    • afrocarter

      I love how the New York media for the most part continue to refuse to give Toronto any amount of credit. When Brooklyn eventually falls to the Raptors, the resulting New York Post articles will be EPIC.

  2. Bo4

    Bruce Arthur, you may have started something today. My question is, who fits the moniker ‘Safecracker’ more? Kyle Lowry, or the entire Raptors team this year?

  3. Z- Rap- Money

    Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

  4. dunkmycat7

    Bruce Arthur whoever you – are you are a welcome relief from your know nothing douchebag colleague Doug Smith and that space cadet (don’t call me Kathy) Kelly.
    Nice to have some bona fide hoops writing back in the Star instead of that ridiculous self serving self indulgent blog crap that DS serves up everyday.

    • Sam

      Dude…Bruce is a serious journalist. This is the 3rd or 4th gem he’s penned since the playoffs started.

      • dunkmycat7

        I KNOW -he’s great.
        And he actually writes about BASKETBALL !
        Quelle surprise 🙂

        • Nilanka15

          Arthur tends to write about “important” sports stories in general, which just happens to be the Raptors right now.

          • dunkmycat7

            Sorry-I meant as opposed to writing about the wife kid dog school bitching about his job bitching about travelling and seemingly everything else. And especially the drinking NONSENSE.
            DS doesn’t have a clue that we don’t care about all the crap in his so called life,
            Just STFU about EVERYTHING else- and write about basketball.
            You know – just do your so called JOB.

            • afrocarter

              To be fair, Doug Smith writes a personal blog, where he’s entitled to write about anything he wishes. You’ll never seen an aside about his teenager in his actual Raptors write-ups.

              • dunkmycat7

                Then they should take the P:O.S. blog OUT of the sports pages and put it in the entertainment section and get another writer to write about HOOPS. This new guy Arthur is just great.
                It’s also a TERRIBLE business decision , used to be THE place to go for Raptors several years ago, now only his 11 regulars read it.
                What happens if they gave a blog …and nobody came ? 🙂

                • afrocarter

                  You’re getting so very upset over a bad blog. Just allow Doug’s 11 readers to read his bad blog in peace. No need for the caps lock fire & brimstone, imo.

            • Nilanka15

              Yeah, I stopped reading Smitty’s blog years ago. Was just too much drivel.

              Arthur’s new to the Star, but he was with the National Post for eons, and he’s on TSN’s “The Reporters” with Dave Hodge.

              • smh

                it was a weird carousel towards the playoffs for sure. I know the Globe had almost zero coverage before Cathal came onboard, but Bruce going to the Star was a good choice for them as a counter-balance to Doug. The Sun though, so weird seeing the Raps there (Globe too)

                • Nilanka15

                  The Globe used to have solid bball coverage when Michael Grange was there. But they were never able to properly replace him.

  5. Stef

    Re Dwane Casey: if Any one of the previous Raptors coaches that the we’ve had over the years is coaching This season, I’d doubt we’re even in these playoffs never mind looking at a best 2 out of 3 series with home court advantage. DC’s the Man.

    • Plus

      He couldnt do it without masai trading rudy. A coach needs the right pieces. If rudy was still here dc would have been a lame duck. If dc made the necessary adjustments if rudy was still here then he would have been maybe the raps best coach ever. He couldnt coach rudy plain and simple.

  6. NikolaTesla1

    We were given that game. Just watched the last 5 min of the game again and wow, thanks Refs, you gave us that one.

    Amir fouls Pierce on the shot…no call
    Demar fouls Johnson…offensive foul on Johnson
    Demar flops…offensive foul on KG
    Johnson moving…charge called on Pierce.

    • Northbound

      Amir fouls Pierce on the shot…no call (WRONG)
      Demar fouls Johnson…offensive foul on Johnson (WRONG)
      Demar flops…offensive foul on KG (There was a flop?)
      Johnson moving…charge called on Pierce. (Agree)
      So no, we werent given this one. And given the fact that the refs called foul on the raptors like there is no tomorrow, our guys fought back

      • Rapchat

        2 mins before AJ got the charge on PP he got called for blocking when he was clearly there… make up calls are awesome 🙂

      • NikolaTesla1

        No Amir fouled him on the hand, which is why the ball hit the backboard.
        Demar did foul Johnson, he ran his face into Joe’s arm as Joe was taking it up.
        And yes Demar did flop.

        I think it says a lot that the Raptors got those calls, people are paying attention.

    • afrocarter

      I know it’s never a good idea to feed trolls such as yourself, but seriously get the fuck outta here. EVERYONE on this site will agree that the officiating has been sub-par (understatement), but it has been terrible for both sides. In every single game you can pick out 5-10 bad calls for each team. Cherry picking a few questionable & debatable examples is a pointless exercise.

      Why the heck are you even here?

      • NikolaTesla1

        Hahahaha…telling the truth baby, that’s all I’m doing. You are more than welcome to wear the blinders but no need to be all nasty like i hurt your feelings or something.

        We were given that game and no amount of your name calling will change that.

        • afrocarter

          Meh. No amount of your oh-so-definitive posturing will change the fact that the Raptors scrapped, clawed, and outplayed the Nets down the stretch to get this win. They’ve been the best 4th quarter team all season, and last night’s game was no exception.

          But by all means, continue to give Toronto absolutely no credit and reveal yourself to be the fakest Raptors fan on this site. Cheers.

          • Abused Raptors Fan

            Don’t feed the troll lol. He just started paying attention to this team (as evidenced by the absolute lack of post involvement until 2 months ago) so his opinions are about as accurate as the average casual basketball fan from the U.S.


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