Even though the Raptors got strong performances from both Kawhi Leonard and Jonas Valanciunas, they couldn't pull out the win in Brooklyn against the Nets.
The game ended 106-105 in favour of the Nets in overtime. Here are my takeaways from the Friday night game:
1. JV Has Been Hooping
After a strong showing against the Sixers earlier in the week, a performance that propelled the Raptors to a win, Jonas Valanciunas had yet another big game. He posted a near-double-double (24 points and 8 rebounds) in just 26 minutes of play.
The Lithuanian big man is really starting to come into his own this season, after struggling to find his place with the Raptors in Dwane Casey's rotation. Those seasons found him starting the game, but playing little to no minutes once the fourth quarter came around.
2. D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie are a Good One-Two Punch for the Nets
The Nets are lucky enough to have a point guard duo who are both capable of starting and who both have their own, often complementary, strengths and weaknesses as players.
In the win over the Raptors on Friday, the Nets got big showings out of both their guards, with Dinwiddie coming off the bench to score 17 points and sling 8 dimes, and Russell starting the game to put up 29 points, 5 assists, and 5 boards.
It also does not matter whatsoever who starts the game and who gets left on the bench - Dinwiddie came off the bench to play 31 minutes to Russell's 32.
3. Kyle Lowry Needs to Step it up for the Raptors to Win
Having dropped two of their last three, the Raptors need better performances out of the All-Star point guard, Kyle Lowry, if they want to contend with the likes of the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
Lowry, while still good for 11 assists on the game, a number we've become used to seeing this season, he scored just 3 points in 36 minutes of playing time.
If the Raptors want to avoid losing more games, they need more scoring from their point guard.
The Raptors have the Bucks on Sunday, an opponent that will likely give them a hard time.