Nets storm back in 4th quarter to end 6 game losing streak in win over Raptors

The Nets were expected to be without Cam Johnson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Keita Bates-Diop against the Toronto Raptors on Monday, but Cam Thomas’ late addition to the injury report because of back spasms was something no one could have anticipated.

The Raptors were short-handed themselves, playing without All-Star Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, DJ Carton, Jontay Porter, and Chris Boucher.

That meant there would be plenty of opportunities to go around for lesser-used players on both teams, like Brooklyn’s Jalen Wilson, Noah Clowney and Jacob Gilyard. Or Toronto’s Javon Freeman-Liberty, Jordan Nwora and Kobi Simmons.

The Nets entered the night on a season-worst six-game losing streak while Toronto had dropped 10 straight games since March 3. Something had to give. And while neither team had a performance to write home about, Brooklyn was able to outscore the Raptors 28-19 in the fourth quarter and escape Scotiabank Arena with a 96-88 win.

Both teams shot a combined 14-of-66 from 3-point range (21.2%) and both surrendered more than 50 points in the paint.

Dennis Schröder and Trendon Watford led all scorers with 19 points. Mikal Bridges added 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Gary Trent Jr. led five Raptors in double figures with 18 points.

Lonnie Walker IV went 0-of-6 from the field in nine minutes off the bench for Brooklyn. Wilson, in just his second start of the season in Thomas’ absence, had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Gilyard, a two-way guard, made his Nets debut against Toronto and became the 21st player to see action for Brooklyn this season. It was the Richmond alum’s 39th NBA appearance overall.

The Nets improved to 27-45 this season with Monday’s win and are 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings with 10 regular season games left.

Brooklyn still needs to clean up its recent turnover issues, though. After turning the ball over 15 times against the Knicks on Saturday, they committed 20 turnovers on Monday in Toronto, which led to 16 points for the Raptors.