Jarrett Allen posted his 10th double-double of the season and made some shots in big situations. His putback of a Spencer Dinwiddie miss was the tying bucket in regulation and a left-handed layup off the right baseline off a feed from Dinwiddie ended up as the game-winner.
He toughened up defensively against big man Jonas Valanciunas after halftime, as well. Valanciunas was a big part of the Toronto offense in the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but was limited to just four shots after the intermission break.
Allen did turn the ball over four times, but was a defensive factor with two steals and a pair of blocks, as well as altering several other penetration efforts by the Raptors. It was a solid performance overall for a kid who is learning quickly.
It was the best — and worst — of D’Angelo Russell wrapped up in one 32-minute package.
He scored a team-high 29 points on very efficient 13-for-22 shooting, including 15 points to keep Brooklyn close in the third quarter and six of the Nets’ eight points in overtime.
Russell spent significant periods on the bench in the fourth quarter after turning the ball over four times in just six minutes, including a telegraphed pass to the wing that Kawhi Leonard cut off in mid-flight.
His only turnover in overtime was the sort that has been fatal for the Brooklyn Nets of late, losing the ball out of bounds on the baseline after dribbling around for more than 20 seconds. That turnover, with 24.1 seconds to go, set up Toronto with possession and a chance to win.
The defense bailed Russell out, however.
When his mid-range game is working, it’s terrific, but Russell — much like Spencer Dinwiddie with his drives to the rim — can get a little too locked into finding his own shot and, in turn, stagnate the offense.