As Nick Nurse exited his post-game press convention Friday, he left with a parting remark: “Good evening for the Raptors.”

Kawhi Leonard had 20 factors and 11 rebounds to carry the Raptors to their fourth consecutive victory, a lopsided 122-105 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

However the Raptors coach was referring to different leads to the East, significantly a Milwaukee Bucks loss, that mixed with Toronto’s win vaulted his crew again to first place within the convention.

Eight Raptors scored in double figures. Pascal Siakam had 16 factors, Serge Ibaka chipped in with 14 factors and 9 boards, OG Anunoby and Norman Powell had 13 factors apiece, Delon Wright completed with 12, and Fred VanVleet and Greg Monroe every had 10 for the Raptors (32-12), whose seventh straight win at Scotiabank Enviornment tied their season excessive.

“We went into this factor as a marathon,” stated VanVleet.

Dunks by Serge Ibaka, OG Anunoby lift Toronto Raptors over Atlanta Hawks 104-101

“We’re about midway by way of and beginning to ramp it up and get slightly extra pressing about issues. I believe we’re beginning to see that. We carried out effectively for the primary half of the 12 months and now we’re attempting to show our gears slightly bit, shift and simply hold constructing however get a bit extra urgency in issues we have to get higher at.”

Leonard scored 20-plus factors for a career-high 18th straight recreation. Nevertheless it was the bench that was spectacular, combining for 60 factors – two shy of the season excessive.

“Performed effectively,” Kyle Lowry stated of the second unit. “They performed with power, they performed aggressive, they performed assertive, they performed with confidence. That’s what we would have liked from them.”

D’Angelo Russell had 24 factors to high the Nets (21-22).

The Nets may be seventh within the East, however they arrived in Toronto on a scorching streak, winners of 13 of their earlier 17 video games.

It was the Raptors, nevertheless, enjoying the third of a three-game homestand, who had been within the driver’s seat for a lot of the evening, shrugging off a lackadaisical first-quarter defensive effort to take a 12-point lead within the second. By the top of the third quarter they led 99-75.

“Our transition defence began out type of poor and we began exhibiting slightly bit extra size and deflections ….” Nurse stated. “We began attending to the rim slightly bit extra, we began transferring the ball. I believe we ended up with 32 assists tonight, which is an enormous quantity.”

Nurse sat his starters for the ultimate body, permitting Leonard and Lowry a uncommon fourth quarter off. The Nets sliced the Raptors’ result in 13 factors with a 12-Zero run capped by a Shabazz Napier basket with 5 minutes to play. However Toronto responded with an 8-Zero run of its personal, sending followers to the exits to beat the push with a few minutes play.

“They capitalized on our turnovers (17 for 20 factors), and so they capitalized on our missed photographs,” Russell stated. “I believe we had been there basket-for-basket early, till we began lacking and turning the ball over slightly bit.”

Kyle Lowry returns from back issues, Toronto Raptors win 121-105 over Indiana Pacers

The Raptors, who’ve gained 13 of their final 14 video games towards Brooklyn, shot 45.7 per cent on the evening and 31.Four per cent from three-point vary.

The Raptors had been sluggish on the defensive finish within the first quarter, and paid for it – the Nets shot 60 per cent from past the arc and 50 per cent from the sector. Napier’s driving hook shot with 15 seconds left within the body capped a 14-1 run that gave the Nets a nine-point lead. Brooklyn led 35-28 after one quarter.

The Raptors bounced again within the second. VanVleet’s three was the punctuation mark on an 18-Four run that gave Toronto a 12-point benefit late within the half. They took a 64-53 lead into the halftime break.

The Raptors head to Washington to face the Wizards on Sunday, and battle the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday earlier than returning house to host Phoenix on Jan. 17.

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