Brooklyn Nets: Player grades from blowout loss in Toronto

Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets were outscored 71-40 in the middle 2 quarters Friday night at Scotiabank Arena en route to a 122-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The Brooklyn Nets experienced what I’ve always liked to call a donut game Friday night against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena.

Lots on the outside, nothing in the middle.

The good news for Brooklyn was they outscored the Raptors 65-51 in the first and fourth quarters combined. The bad news was Toronto obliterating the Nets 71-50 in the middle two periods while running away with a 122-105 victory.

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The win was the fourth in a row for the Raptors (32-12) and their sixth in their last seven games, vaulting them into first place in the Eastern Conference in conjunction with the Milwaukee Bucks’ 113-106 to the Washington Wizards in D.C.

The Nets (21-23) missed a chance to get back to .500, but remained in seventh place in the East after the Charlotte Hornets (19-22) were blown out on the road by the Portland Trail Blazers 127-96 later Friday night.

Brooklyn is now a full game behind the sixth-place Miami Heat (20-20) in the East, while maintaining a half-game lead over the eighth-place Hornets.

The Detroit Pistons (17-23) are in ninth, 1½ games behind Charlotte. With their win over the Bucks, the Wizards (18-25) moved into 10th place, percentage points ahead of the Orlando Magic (17-24), with both teams two games in back of the Hornets for the last playoff position in the East.

The Nets get their first full weekend off this season before hosting the Boston Celtics (25-16) at Barclays Center Monday night.

Brooklyn led the Raptors by as much as nine points early in the second quarter before Toronto flipped the switch on the way to a 64-53 halftime lead.

The third quarter was more of the same — the Nets got back to within single digits twice very early in the period before Toronto put the game on ice with their second 15-3 run of the game.

In the middle quarters, the Nets were just 12-for-38 shooting (31.6 percent), compared to 30-for-56 (53.6 percent) for the Raptors. Brooklyn made only 2-of-13 from 3-point range, while Toronto knocked down 7-of-19.

The Nets also committed 11 turnovers in that span, leading to 13 Toronto points, while scoring just two points off the Raptors’ five giveaways.

Throw in Toronto’s 27-1 edge on the fast break during the second and third quarters and you have exactly what we saw — a blowout.

The loss dropped Brooklyn to 1-4 on the road against the top five teams in the East, a group that is no less than 4½ games clear of the sixth-place Heat.

All four of those losses for the Nets have been by double figures, including their two most lopsided defeats of the season, a 21-point loss to the Celtics on Monday and a 20-point loss at Indiana on Oct. 20.

For all of the grief fans like to give to veteran Jared Dudley, the Nets appeared to miss him at times — particularly when the momentum was starting to get away from them in the second quarter.

There was no one on the floor to get the team to calm down and regroup in a situation where there is only so much the coach on the bench can do. It might not have worked, either, but the absence of that level of communication between the players was noticeable.

Here are the player grades from what turned into a long night north of the border, in a game in which every available player saw time.