DeMar DeRozan was non-existent in Game One.
Maybe nerves got the best of him. Maybe the Nets defensive intensity surprised him in spots. Who knows? The Playoffs are a different animal.
Game Two was a different animal for DeRozan that was for sure. The All-Star guard came out to play and came out to finish, matching “The Truth” and beating him in the end in a game of shot-making and shot-taking. DeRozan won that match, emphatically with a on-handed, lefty jam late in the game. Amir Johnson’s two-handed rim run ended things on a brilliant inbound late in the game.
This was a back-and-forth affair with the Raptors taking control late but never able to get away. The Nets, led by Paul Pierce in the final two minutes, seemed to have a basket to answer every run and keep things close. It felt like experience would win out. Pierce did not have a field goal until the final minutes of the game.
With Joe Johnson (he had an easy layup that cut the lead to two late) and Pierce, it seemed like the Nets were poised to at least force overtime. Especially when you consider the Raptors were struggling to protect the ball, committing 21 turnovers.
That never came. They relied on experience too much. And despite some great execution, the shots did not fall in the end.
DeRozan ended with 30 points as six of the eight players the Raptors used tonight got into double figures. DeRozan scored enought o makeup for both games this series.
Joe Johnson had 18 points to lead the Nets. Deron Williams had 15 points on 15 field goal attempts.