Narrowly surviving the final few seconds to snap a five-game losing streak, I had a tough time differentiating the outcome of the Brooklyn Nets‘ matchup with the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night from Brooklyn’s first 10 losses of this young season.
Because the truth is, it felt closer to a loss than it did a victory. The scoreboard may have said otherwise. It may have said that Amir Johnson missed that open 3-pointer that would’ve put Toronto ahead by a point with about a second remaining, giving the Nets a much-needed 102-100 victory.
What it didn’t say was how the Nets tried hard as possible to give the game away. Up 101-86 around the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Brooklyn decided to hit the self-destruct button. They turned it over multiple times, dribbled too much, took awful shots and couldn’t come up with stops down the stretch. Before they knew it, the Raptors had gone on a 14-0 run.
The Nets were merely trying to hold on for dear life. They clung to a 101-100 lead as Shaun Livingston stepped to the free throw line with 11.2 seconds remaining. As fans held their breath, the first rattled in, but Livingston was unable to convert the second. Jason Kidd looked like he had just seen a ghost. The disbelief of what was transpiring before his eyes was overwhelming.
Thankfully for Kidd and the Nets, Johnson missed a great look from the corner and they escaped victoriously. A win is a win. They’ll certainly take it after all the despair they’ve endured. But, don’t think for even a moment that anything’s been solved.